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Mall attracts 100,000 as Christmas descends

The Kitsap Mall was considerably less crowded on Monday afternoon after being inundated with holiday shoppers on the weekend.  Mall officials estimated that 50,000 shoppers descended on the Mall on Friday, Nov. 29 and another 25,000 on each day, both Saturday and Sunday.  - Photo by Rogerick Anas
The Kitsap Mall was considerably less crowded on Monday afternoon after being inundated with holiday shoppers on the weekend. Mall officials estimated that 50,000 shoppers descended on the Mall on Friday, Nov. 29 and another 25,000 on each day, both Saturday and Sunday.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

Silverdale retailers are seeing green after Thanksgiving weekend’s shopping frenzy.

Stores reported increased traffic and revenues over last year as shoppers came out in droves to snap up deals.

Kitsap Mall retailers saw a 12-42 percent increase in business as 100,000 people shopped from Friday to Sunday, said Stacey Ames, the Mall’s marketing manager.

About half of those shoppers visited the Mall Friday and then the number of shoppers and visitors leveled out on Saturday and Sunday.

By 7 a.m., on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the parking lots at Target and Toys-R-Us in Silverdale were teeming. The Kitsap Mall parking lot was nearly half full by 7 a.m. Nearby Best Buy managers also said there was frenetic activity at its store before 7 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 29.

Meanwhile, at the Kitsap Mall, retail stores such as Sun Prairie, Claire’s, Wizards of the Coast and Journeys Shoes reported a good weekend.

The popular items, according to officials, were the 20th anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit, Mini Racers (tiny remote controlled cars), fleece items and clothing in general.

Gift certificate sales were up by about 3 percent.

Major department stores such as J.C.Penney gave away 6,000 snow globes as part of its door buster deals.

“We’re very pleased with the weekend,” said Ken Johnson, manager for Gottschalks. People this year were purchasing more practical, quality gifts rather than the frivolous, he noted.

Some of the more popular purchases were junior robes, clothing items by Columbia and women’s accessories.

With six fewer shopping days between turkey day and Christmas, several retailers said it’s hard to measure the holidays’ overall impact.

Target, which led retail sales nationally, did well in this area too. Sales were up 5 percent over last year said Scott Hayes, Target store manager.

The construction this summer at Randall Way and Kitsap Mall Boulevard put sales in a two-month slump, he said. Sales throughout the year fluctuate as military personnel in the area vary. For example when the USS Carl Vinson came in 5,000 sailors came back to the area.

As for items that flew off the shelf, “karaoke machines and DVD players,” Hayes said.

Electronic items were also big sellers at Staples according to its holiday shopping report. Items such as digital cameras, all-in-one (printer, scanner, fax, copier) machines, and LCD monitors.

At Toys R Us stores nationally, items such as Chicken Dance Elmo, Spider-man Web Blasters, Crayola Crayon Maker, Cabbage Patch and Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition left the shelves as soon as they were stocked, said Susan McLaughlin, corporate spokeswoman.

She said the most sought after item is the Fur Real Friend, a battery operated cat that purrs and moves like a real kitty.

Sales figures are not released until January. The Silverdale store manager referred all questions to the corporate office.

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