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Eat, shop and be merry, then go shop some more

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By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

Once the turkey and dressing was polished off on Thanksgiving, there was one thing left to do - go shopping Friday morning.

“Shop ‘til you drop” became the mantra for many hearty souls who lined up at stores around the area at 5 a.m. to grab the best deals on this years Christmas bargains.

Hot items were Wiis, the new game consoles from Nintendo, laptop computers, and of course, the more mundane gifts of sweaters, socks and shirts,

In the Bonney Lake area, stores were hopping with customers from dawn to dusk.

At the Ben Franklin store owner Adrian Taylor said a steady flow of shoppers made their way through the door all day.

“A lot of the customers we get said they like to avoid the big stores,” Taylor said. “I think they are looking for a more low-impact shopping experience. We know a lot of our customers.”

Chamber of Commerce President Katrina Minton said the city has become shopping center for Christmas bargain shoppers.

“It's nice now that we have some major retailers,” Minton said. “We've become more of a destination for shoppers.”

According to a news release from the National Retail Federation, average spending on Friday was $360 per shopper nationwide, an increase of 18.9 percent from last year.

The group also said in its survey about 36 percent of the shoppers hit their first store by 6 a.m. and men were more likely to wait in early morning lines than women. About 17 percent of the men surveyed said they arrived at their first store at 4 a.m.

The survey pegged men as bigger spenders than women. According to the survey men spent on average $420 and women $300 Men also bought more computer and electronic goodies. About 39 percent of the men bought electronics and computers compared to about 27 percent of the women.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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