Hearty post-holiday bargain hunters headed out to the Valley Mall in fair numbers on Wednesday despite the snow and icy conditions that left roads a slippery mess.
The day after Christmas might be the new Black Friday for shoppers, but this one posed a challenge to those determined to hit the stores.
“The weather outside is frightful, but once you’re inside it’s delightful,” said Julie Rohm, the mall’s general manager.
The mall’s hours were unchanged Wednesday despite the weather, but whether any sales would be extended would be a decision of the retailers, many of which are national chains, such as Sears, American Eagle and Bon-Ton, she said.
“Hopefully, my SUV will get me home,” Jill Nicoletti of Hagerstown said as she emerged from the mall with granddaughter Olivia. They had arrived at the mall early, but a considerable amount of precipitation had fallen by 10:30 a.m.
Sherry Emory and Robin Schroyer, sisters from Waynesboro, Pa., were making their second trip out to their vehicle with purchases.
“It’s a time for my sister and me to just hang out and get out of the house,” Emory said.
It was also time to find bargains on clothing, holiday cards and Christmas decorations, Schroyer said.
“We got a ton of Christmas stuff,” Schroyer said.
“I’m shopping the day after to get the best deals possible for my children,” said Jeffrey Geyer of Hagerstown. He did not get to spend Christmas with them, but he put in extra hours as a tattoo artist and was out to get the most bang for his buck before seeing them in a day or two.
“The smiles on their faces. That’s what it’s all about,” Geyer said.
Not everyone at the mall was there on a shopping spree. Some, like Barry Detwiler of Greencastle, Pa., had scheduled appointments.
Detwiler, with three sons and a daughter, said he was waiting in the mall’s concourse for a vehicle to be serviced at Firestone.
“Pretty much everyone has called to cancel or reschedule appointments,” said Jennifer Lavrenchik of Allegany Optical.
Lavrenchik said it would be a good day to be “in your PJs, sipping hot chocolate,” which was her plan for after work.
“I had a doctor’s appointment and my wife asked me to come here for lunch and try to get some articles for people,” said Dave Verdier of Maugansville.
“She loves to shop ... I’m just the bus driver,” Verdier said.
Timing is important for big sales and many got out before the snow started falling in earnest.
“We had about a full parking lot when we opened at 9 a.m.,” said Alana Haley of Snavely’s Garden Corner and Trim Shop on Leitersburg Pike. “The people that knew what they wanted were here.”
Snavely’s had advertised big discounts on Christmas trim and artificial trees and Haley said the storm was unlikely to seriously impede sales, because most customers come in early.