Store managers at Stratford Square Mall said crowds today have been busier than expected.
According to store manager of Carson Pirie Scott, lines at the department store have been constant since it opened at 4:00 a.m. And although he is unsure if this is an indication of the upcoming holiday shopping season, he can only hope sales will stay steady throughout the next month. Most people were using cash transactions, which is a sign of the recession, he said.
Nora Sobecki traveled to Stratford in Bloomingdale from Chicago to take advantage of the “excellent” sales today. She made stops at all the department stores, including Carson Pirie Scott, Macy’s and Kohl’s.
“I paid in cash,” Sobecki said. “I had to budget because of the economy.”
Sobecki purchased a suede coat for 70 percent off, as well as a comforter with two pillows for $39.99 — an early bird special that was only available at Macy’s until 1:00 p.m.
Karen Fitzgerald from Algonquin met a group of family members at Stratford today to begin her holiday shopping. She, too, traveled to all the department stores and said she found the best deals at Kohl’s.
As an employee of Northrop Grumman, Fitzgerald said she is a part of the Christmas Club at work. Each week, her employer takes a certain percentage of money out of her paycheck and released the total amount back to her the first week in November.
“It’s the only way to go,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s hard to save otherwise.”