Area shoppers got off to a head start on the Christmas shopping scene on Thursday afternoon seeking bargains, the continuation of a family tradition or the beginning of a new one.
“This is the first year,” said Jessica Plant who was in line with John Hoffman, both of Ashtabula at JCPenney in Ashtabula Township.
“Boots for my daughter,” she said of her goal for the trip.
More than 50 people were already in line at the store at Ashtabula Towne Square 30 minutes before the doors were scheduled to open.
Kristen Knowlton, of Ashtabula, and Lynda Durisek, of Jefferson, got to know each other on Thursday afternoon while waiting for the store to open.
Knowlton said she comes for the coupons ranging in value from $10 to $100.
“Coupons rule the day,” said Natalie Shauberger of Jefferson. She said she has been heading out on Thanksgiving afternoon with her sister for nearly a decade.
“Just to get out of the house. We let the men cook,” Shauberger said.
It is not just a one-stop adventure for Shauberger and family. “We eat [Thanksgiving] dinner and head to Mentor,” she said.
Christina Rosario, of Ashtabula, started her shopping at Penneys and then moved on to Gordmans in Saybrook Township. She had a similar plan to Shauberger.
“We are going to leave here, eat some more and then head to Mentor,” Rosario said while waiting in line with her daughter Ayla Thomas.
Donna Hillston said she always makes a Thanksgiving Day run to Mentor. She said she generally shops a variety of places, gets something to eat and then waits until the 8 a.m. special deals.
“I sleep in their [one of the stores] parking lot,” she said.
Gordmans Assistant Manger Kaitlyn Lockwood greeted several dozen shoppers at the door after taking several selfies of them waiting to get into the store.
Shoppers were given instructions on where to get the deals and what time limitations existed.