Solid Thanksgiving Weekend for Metro Retailers - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Solid Thanksgiving Weekend for Metro Retailers

 By: Jason Rantala

@jarantala

A survey by the National Retail Federation found spending over Thanksgiving weekend to be down for the first time in at least seven years.

Shoppers lined up at stores across the country in massive numbers.

But while though foot traffic was up, sales were not.

Nationally, shopper spending is estimated at $57.4 billion over the four day weekend. That's down almost three percent from last year.

Here in Des Moines, trends were reversed for retailers like JCPenny and Kmart.

At JCPenny they saw a big response, opening at 8 p.m. Thursday, with sales that matched up with years of the past.

"We weren't sure what the customers were going to do, how much traffic we were going to have," said JCPenny Store Leader Daryl Dell'Anno.

Kmart opened their doors at 6 a.m. Thursday, but this year crowds took a hit, at least initially.

"The 6 a.m. didn't go like we normally do," said Kmart General Manager Steve Dillon.

It's something Dillon attributes to other stores opening the same day, but in the evening.

However, despite the early morning lull, crowds did pick up later on, helping the store reach sales figures of past years.

"Absolutely yeah, very happy with it," said Dillon.

Also very happy, The owners of Calypso in Valley West Mall.

"We're just really thrilled with the amount of people that came in," said Calypso Co-Owner Melodie Barkley.

The locally–owned store of basically everthing, everything but clothing, opened just before midnight Thursday and saw crowds they had not seen in four to five years.

"It was really good to be busy again, everybody came out and shopped," said Barkley.

The owners of Calypso believe sales were up because of the recession being over. They saw customers they hadn't seen in years.

Of course, not everybody shopped. Summer and Bryan Peters of Johnston stayed far away from all the deals.

"Didn't go anywhere where anything was sold," said Summer. 

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