Some eager Central Alberta shoppers hit the road early Thursday morning to be the first to get their hands on hot Boxing Day deals across Red Deer.
When Lance Floreani, general manager of Future Shop in Red Deer, arrived at work at 4 a.m. there were already about 25 or so people lined up outside the doors.
“It’s the deals. That’s what Boxing Day is all about,” Floreani said in between helping customers pick out laptops, cameras, home theatre systems and more. “We opened at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. . . . By six, there were around 150 people outside. It’s one of the busiest days; almost everything is on sale.”
While Matthew Taylor didn’t arrive at Future Shop until around 9 a.m., he managed to get everything he came out for — an iPhone 5s case and a Macbook Pro case.
“I never go out Boxing Day so this is new to me,” Taylor said. “It was an expensive morning but a good morning. The staff were friendly and helped me right away. I might try it again next year.”
The most popular item at Future Shop seemed to be big screen TVs as box after box, ranging from 32 to 60 inches, was hauled out of the doors and into the parking lot flooded with vehicles.
Ryan McColm and Dylan Hopkins each took a corner and hoisted their new 50 inch Insignia LED TV to the car; Hopkins was also carrying a Sony PlayStation.
“We got what we came for,” they said, happy to have saved over $150.
Best Buy was also a zoo of customers dashing in and out of aisles, testing out new gadgets.
Shane and Liz Sroka of Lacombe waited in line for over half an hour to get their hands on an iPhone 5s 16GB model for a promo price $49.99.
“The price is right,” Liz said. “We’ll go to three or four stores today, get things at half price, like wrapping paper for next year. It helps to cut down when you can.”
According to Best Buy’s sales supervisor, Aaron Silver, they had a good turnout as soon as the doors opened at 6 a.m. as there was already a small crowd lined up outside at 4:30 a.m. when he arrived.
“They have just been barreling through since 6 a.m. It’s not so much rushes of people but just a steady flow of customers all day,” said Silver, who was working his fourth annual Boxing Day shift. “It’s what we expected, a typical Boxing Day here for us.”
The hustle and bustle continued at Parkland Mall and Bower Place Shopping Centre in the city as vehicles battled to find a parking space.
Krista Dunstan, marketing director with Parkland Mall, said they expected a three to five per cent increase in traffic on Boxing Day compared to 2012.
Parkland opened up at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday and Bower kicked things off at 8 a.m.
“There have been no security issues and no complaints so far,” said Shelby Calvert at Bower’s Guest Services just before noon. “The parking lots are right full. There’s lineups to the backs of many stores. It’s a regular Boxing Day.”
Zonja Dalstra and Gretha Ganshirt didn’t have their sights set on any specific deals but decided to take Dalstra’s children, Ryker, 3, and Raya, 6, out for a day of shopping at Bower.
“We were amazed because we actually found parking right outside the door so we were lucky,” Dalstra said. “We came in for clothes really but I picked up this duvet cover for only $20 at Quilts Etc. so it’s already been a productive trip.”
In many retail locations, Boxing Day sales continue today and throughout the weekend.