Friday, July 25, 2014

Dealing with it

February 19. 2013 6:41PM
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WILKES-BARRE TWP. -- Good thing Jared Sokirka got along with his older brother, Aaron, or else he'd have a hard time getting his new TV home.

The younger brother was determined to buy a 50-inch Toshiba LED television and save $600 off the regular price of $899 at the Sears store in the Wyoming Valley Mall.

He can't fit it in his car, said Aaron Sokirka of Wyoming.

They were third and fourth in a line snaking around the outside of the store Thanksgiving night as Sears, with its 8 p.m. opening, joined the ranks of other retailers moving further and further away from a traditional Black Friday start.

Jared Sokirka of Kingston arrived with a chair around 12:45 p.m. and his brother parked his Ford SUV in the first spot outside the door where the line began.

It's basically like a plane ride, Sokirka said of the wait.

Unlike other shoppers buying holiday gifts, Sokirka was thinking of himself.

It's for me, he said, adding the price was unbeatable and the time was right to retire his old TV.

Lured by the TV deal, John Martin of Wyoming arrived 45 minutes earlier than Sokirka.

Martin claimed the second spot behind a shopper who had been at the front of the line since 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. The shopper did not want to be identified.

The TV was for my household, Martin said. He planned to make a night of it and visit other stores.

He'd have plenty of company after the people waiting outside other early-bird openers picked up their bargains and moved on to the next stop.

April Gnall of Barnesville stood watch as her daughters, Samantha and Sydney, huddled under blankets on the concrete sidewalk outside the Target in the Wilkes-Barre Township Commons ahead of approximately 30 other people.

The Gnalls staked out a spot close to the front around 4:30 p.m. for the 9 p.m. opening.

I brought them last year for the first time and created a monster, Gnall said.

They traveled from Schuylkill County to get a 32 Apex TV for $147 and save approximately $100. The girls also wanted to shop for some friends.

Once they finished there, then we'll do the marathon, Gnall said.

Before getting at Target around 3:30 p.m. Thomas Mascola of the Poconos and Kaitlyn Varneke of Bear Creek Township bought a pair of televisions at a Kmart.

In between they squeezed in dinner at Varneke's parents. I even did the dishes, Mascola said.

Being the first in line he was assured of getting the Apex and Westinghouse televisions on sale. He checked out the prices at other stores but settled on Target.

I'm here for the convenience. I'll spend $50 more, but I'll get what I want, Mascola said.

The 8 p.m. opening at Toys R Us on Kidder Street pushed up meal time for Elicia Harrison and Ryan McDermott and their children.

We had things ready by 11 o'clock, said Harrison of Sweet Valley.

She and McDermott claimed spots four and five outside the store. By 5:30 p.m. the line had grown to more than 50 people.

Sure they were shopping for the kids and had photos on McDermott's smart phone of the gifts, so that mommy gets it right, Harrison said.

But she couldn't pass up a deal on some things that would immediately get used.

The diaper prices are crazy, Harrison said.

A box containing 84 store-brand diapers was on sale for $10 and there was a limit of four per customer. Still that saved her more than $70 on the purchase.

Harrison and McDermott made friends with Marthalyn Wells, her husband, Joe, and her sister, Noelle Smith, of New Paltz, N.Y., during the wait.

Wells had a doll house on her list and essentials like the store-brand baby wipes marked down to $5 a box. They regularly sold for around $13, Wells said.

She'd checked out the sales at other stores and wasn't too thrilled with them. The deals aren't really good this year, Wells said.


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