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Central Kitsap shoppers tired, but satisfied
Christmas-shopping mania has hit Silverdale.
Actually, according to those who were there yesterday, Friday, Nov. 28, the infamous day-after-Thanksgiving-start-of-the-Christmas-shopping-season, it was a lot nicer than last year though just as crowded.
More help was hired, and the sales clerks and cashiers were more polite and helpful, said shoppers.
Plus there was a better selection of products. More shoppers said they were finding just what they were looking for.
Lots of good sales, said Dave Snyder of Silverdale. Its more crowded than I thought it would be.
He was with girlfriend Kathy Holder, who had daughter Kandace, 6, and son Kristian, 8, at her side.
We got here at 8 a.m. in other words, late, said June Welzbacker of Silverdale with a laugh. It was after 9 a.m. and she and June Welzbacker were taking a break on one of the many benches in the Kitsap Mall.
Were pretty much finding what we were looking for, said June. Theres just almost too much. But the sales reps have been nice. They hired enough help.
Danya Evans, a cashier at Bath & Body Works, said Yeah, things are hopping. The small store was one of the busiest yesterday, with dozens of customers lining up to buy.
Pam Gartner of Poulsbo was looking for gifts for Friends, family, the office ... all of the above.
The food court at the center of Kitsap Mall was filled virtually every table. Shoppers were coursing up and down the main breezeway, but there were few collisions and most seemed relaxed, despite the crowds.
Were about as busy as last year, said Robin Long, owner of Sun Prairie Trading Co. In fact, its been a good season so far for us.
The store, which opened at Kitsap Mall in 1998, specializes in jewelry, toys, art glass and boxes, among other things.
We were here at 6 a.m., said teenagers Tonya and Dorrie Strader, who were looking over humidifiers at a kiosk called Unique Fountains.
Owner of the kiosk, Wendy Chenoweth of Gig Harbor, explained the new product is like a miniature water fountain, but releases mist as if someone dropped a little dry-ice in the fountain. However, she assured patrons that the mists were created with a new technology using ordinary water only, and capable of humidifying ones home safely. The company is based in Puyallup.
Major venders at the Mall, such as Gottschalks, had signs hanging from the ceiling boldly stating 40 percent off ... 50 percent off ... 60 percent off!
Exclamation points were everywhere.
Pat Denzer of Bremerton said she started with Jo-Ann Fabrics at 6 a.m., then hit Sears before entering the Mall proper.
Found some great deals for the kids in Sears, she said.
At Maggies Christmas, a seasonal shop specializing in decorated trees and decorations in general, co-owner Daniel Jonas was adjusting the stores upside-down Christmas Tree. No mere gimmick, he said, the inverted tree is an Alaskan tradition.
The ceilings in most cabins in Alaska were never high enough to set up a tree so folks would hang them from the ceiling. Then they discovered they could hang things more easily and hang more than before. The shop is based in Shelton.
Meanwhile, outside the Mall SUVs circled the parking lot, looking for parking spaces. Though raining, it was possible to find spaces, if one was willing to walk and get a little wet.
Mall management couldnt be reached by deadline for an estimate on numbers of shoppers Friday.
Nationwide, retail experts and forecasters are predicting the best retail shopping season in four years.