Post-holiday sales bring shoppers back to registers
Their little fingers glided past discounted merchandise during their family's annual sweep through post-Christmas Day sales.
Bracing themselves to the metal shopping cart's bottom tongue, Kennedy Blough, 5, and Trystan Blough, 2, were keeping themselves entertained while their mother made her way through the Geek Squad line at Best Buy inside Victoria Mall.
The Victoria family of four was at the mall on Wednesday to take advantage of the post-Christmas Day sales.
Nationally, post-holiday sales were projected to increase 4.1 percent from last year to $586.1 billion this year, according to a report by the National Retail Federation.
The pink-padded Nabi tablet was a mystery to its new owner, Leslie Blough, 32, who received the gadget as a Christmas gift from her husband and cart commander, Matt Blough, 37.
"She came in to figure out how to use it," her husband said. "And we've got a few returns and exchanges to make."
Nabi is a $200 tablet by technology company Nvidia, designed to store music, photos and games for kids and parents.
And they weren't alone - Jeremiah Zelaya, 10, and his father Jhonny Zelaya, 35, also of Victoria, came to the technology giant's store to exchange $200 headphones for a different color.
"That way he can be happy with his Christmas present," Zelaya said. "We're also looking at the new TVs."
The father and son stood before a wall of blinking LCD screens on sale for about $100 to $300 off their original prices.
"They used to be a lot more expensive," Zelaya said. "Now they're easier to buy."
The father said he spent about $1,600 on Christmas gifts for his wife and four kids.
Aisles away from the Zelayas, Fred Grudzieski, 50, of Ganado, was looking for something to mount his new surround-sound speakers he received for Christmas on Tuesday.
In his left hand, Grudzieski clutched pink and white Bath and Body Works bags for his wife.
"She's really into the bargain sales," Grudzieski said. "We'll be here until my eye glasses are ready to be picked up."
About 30 minutes later Mandy Grudzieski, 23, also of Ganado, caught up with her parents with another bag from the soap and lotion store in tow.
As an assistant band director for Ganado High School, the younger Grudzieski said keeping a good stock of hand sanitizers is a vital part of keeping germs away at school.
She purchased her bundle of exotic-scented hand soaps for about 75 percent off their original prices, she said.
Outside in the parking lot, Victoria resident Alvaro Torres, 39, was carefully placing a gas-powered chainsaw from Sears into his white truck bed.
The chainsaw was originally priced at $179 and fell to $150 during the post-Christmas Day sale at the local department store, said Torres.
"We're going to take it to Mexico for my brother-in-law," Torres said. "They like American products because there are more and better brands to choose from here."
A short distance down the street from the mall, parking spots at the Hall Lighting and Design Center started to fill up as the clock ticked closer to noon.
The locally-owned lighting store was having a 50 to 75 percent off sale on Christmas ornaments and accessories.
Doyle Koch, 65, of Victoria, picked up a sparkling roll of red ribbon trimming moments after entering the store.
"I'm looking for stuff to decorate my tree with," Koch said. "I'll put everything away now and bring it out next year and be surprised with what I got today."