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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Shoppers pack parking lot at local Walmart

  • Sales go smoothly, in spite of crowds.
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  • It was a full house and an overflowing parking lot when the first round of special sales started at Walmart at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
    Many arrived early to make sure they were standing at their chosen item when the first of three special sale times started.
    In the past, the special sales all started at the same time but by spreading out the sales over three time periods it helped
    "Spreading them out helped with crowd management," said Walmart Assistant Manager Mike Fortkamp.
    The first sale time at 8 p.m. featured Wii, X-Box and movies along with other items on sale.
    The parking lot filled up fast and people began parking wherever they could find a spot including in the grass on the north side of the lot as well as along Fincham Street where no parking is allowed.
    The areas where sale items were displayed were packed with anxious buyers that wanted to have their hands on that special item when is officially went on sale. Once the sale started, buyers took their items to the checkout lines that quickly filled up.
    In preparation for this mass influx of buyers, Walmart worked with their cashiers throughout the week so they would be able to handle the large volume of customers, Fortkamp said.
    The 8 p.m. rush went smoothly and then it was on to the 10 p.m. items that featured a lot of electronics. The store was packed for both special sales and anxious buyers circled the parking lot hoping someone would leave and they could take their place before heading into the store.
    Another special sale was held at 5 a.m. and the featured item was a 51-inch TV that drew a big crowd, Fortkamp said.
    "The event went very well. We had a good turnout," Fortkamp said. "It wasn't too congested. The 5 a.m. sale was smooth."
    Some of the better selling items were electronics, Furbys and fire pits. Televisions are always big sellers along with X-Box and Wii. Surprisingly, at the end of the specials sales periods, the store still had some left over X-Box and Wii units.
    One thing that helped make the special sales go smoothly was a one-hour guarantee on three items: iPad, Blue Ray player and a 32 inch Emerson TV, Fortkamp said.
    The guarantee assured buyers if they stayed in line for those products they would get the product at the sale price.
    While many come to the special sale with a specific item in mind, some just came to check out the sales in general.
    Shelby and Amanda Cluchey were interested in a new sofa, Arthur, Dalton and Cheyenne Slaughter wanted to get some videos and games, Gene and Crystal Swift were looking for a TV and some bath towels while Rich Lyon of Hays just wanted to check out the Black Friday specials on a Thanksgiving evening.
    Page 2 of 2 - In spite of the big crowds and packed parking lot, everything went smoothly with no problems reported.
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