Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday: Good-Hearted Fun at Kohl's

"I've been up since 4 a.m. and I'm still goin' strong. 4 right, Bev? Yep 4. This year seems a little friendlier than usual. But I haven't lost my edge," says cheery Kohl's Black Friday shopper, Mary Evers. Every year, once everyone finishes giving thanks for what they already have, thousands of deal-seeking shoppers bust down the doors of department stores and malls all over the country to cash in on sliced prices and door buster savings. Allegany County, Maryland is no exception.
The stores around town put up posters and signs and send out fliers advertising the incredible deals that await them just beyond the glass doors.
Kohl's in LaVale on Winchester Road was a hot-spot during the event. The department store that sells everything from clothes to appliances, has a special marketing deal called "Kohl's Cash," a big gimmick for customers in the area. The "Cash" works like a gift card. Cash is earned by spending a certain amount of money, and with the receipt, the buyer will also get a coupon representing 10+ dollars in store credits.  "I love the Kohl's Cash idea. I can give it to my grand kids to get stuff that they want." says grandmother Donna Hansen.  This year in Kohl’s, at around 10 a.m., the shopping extravaganza was in full swing and one cashier, Alivia, said that it is better than last year’s turn-out, “We’ve been crazy busy. Crazy. Yes ma’am, the sapphire rings should be on the center table. No problem, hun. Sorry, but yea crazy. It’s fun though.”
One customer said that she did not even want to go this year, “Becky called and said ‘wanna go shoppin’?’ and I said, ‘are you kidding?  It’s Black Friday!’ but here we are. I guess I need to have more will-power.” When a woman tried to pass Becky Boor and her mother, Becky said, “Mom, relax. It’s fine. She always acts like she’s the good one; no one knows how feisty she really is! She will be throwin’ elbows here soon.” But it was all in good fun. No one gauged any eyes or threatened anyone’s family, but there definitely was a lot of mumbling.
“I just need to get home to eat some leftovers,” one mother remarked while waiting in line.
Even though shopping and competitively low prices seem to bring out the mean in people, everywhere around the store there were shoppers laughing and helping one another. More than any other type of interaction, there were elderly women asking college-aged boys which color sweater they would be more likely to wear, young women asking older men which tie is the most appropriate, and fathers asking which necklace their teenage daughter would like the best. There were people helping each other get stuff off the shelves and giving their opinion on which stereo system is better for the price.
Though it is often joked about that the reason for  the Thanksgiving season is lost in the flurry of coupons the day after, it is evident in Kohl’s in the midst of the sales, that many are in it for the fun of a good deal, plus shopping like a maniac is a great start to burning some of those pie calories.

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