NORMAN — Stories of shopping and return horrors circulate among friends, family and coworkers beginning with Black Friday in November and continuing through the holiday shopping season to the new year.
Stories mention lines for miles, hours of standing, irate customers, pushing, shoving, no empty parking spots and crying children. While some of these scenarios may be unavoidable, this year, day after Christmas sale shoppers seemed upbeat with positive attitudes. By six o’ clock Thursday, Sooner Mall was bustling but not overcrowded, and lines were short, if non-existent.
With special holiday hours, the mall opened early at 8 a.m. and didn’t close until 9 p.m. Some sales associates said they had been there all day, while others said they’d only been working a few hours, but most agreed the day had gone as smoothly as possible.
Tolu Ayeni, a Bath & Body Works sales associate, said it was her third time to work the day after Christmas sale.
“It’s been pretty crazy, and I’ve only been here an hour, but it’s going as good as expected,” Ayeni said.
Several shoppers, like Madison Brammer and Jaycee Stevens, said they were a little surprised that the mall wasn’t too crowded.
“We didn’t have a shopping strategy. We just came out for fun,” Madison Brammer said.
Mother and daughter Alicia and Danielle Parrish, who were about to make a purchase at Dillard’s, also said they came out to the mall for fun, but they were focused on the sales.
“She wanted a pair of boots, and we found what we were looking for,” Alicia Parrish said. “So many things are on sale. It’s been a good day.”
Renee Roe, a JCPenny sales associate, said even though she hates shopping, this weekend, she’d probably be searching through racks; she couldn’t resist the sales like 40 and 70 percent off, either.
Roe also said she thought JCPenny had more customers because of the coupons offered.
Other stores’ sales associates thought sales were about the same as previous years. Nila Prather, Dillard’s sales associate who works in the career type clothes section of the store, said from her personal experience, sales were about the same as last year, but customers seemed to have better attitudes.
“For the most part, everyone has been really happy,” Prather said.
To take advantage of sales and for more information on special store hours for the rest of the holiday season, visit soonermall.com/holiday-hours.
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