In one of the last gasps of the holiday shopping season, shoppers overcame some sloppy winter conditions and hit the stores armed with gift cards and some presents that did not fulfill all Christmas wishes.
The crowd at Best Buy in Mentor at about 10:30 a.m. was smaller than expected, but Multichannel Sales Support Manager Chris Bohannon said the crowd would pick up in the afternoon hours.
"It's about as much of a crowd as you would see a few days before Christmas," said Bohannon.
One of the store's bigger deals was a free iPhone 5c with a two-year contract.
"It's usually the deals that bring people in, or they're trying to spend Christmas money or gift cards," Bohannon said.
He added that many more people bring in returns and exchanges after the holidays than during the rest of the year.
"That's why we have dedicated lines just for that. Our whole customer service area is reorganized and we also have front lane registers that are turned on to do returns," Bohannon said. "It's usually to go to an upgrade or something a little better."
Dennis Jarvi of Rotunda West, Fla., was among these shoppers. He and other family members came together and bought a 39-inch TV as a gift for his mother-in-law.
"But she has a hard time seeing, so she wanted a little bit bigger," said Jarvi, who is originally from the Ashtabula area and was back in the area to visit for the holidays.
They decided Thursday on a 55-inch model, and Jarvi said the exchange process went smoothly.
On the heels of Tuesday's large vehicle pileup on Interstate 90, the weather Thursday morning also made for some hazardous driving conditions.
"We started on I-90 today, but it was so bad that we came back down to (Route) 20 and that was fine," he added.
Kirtland parents Matt and Jennifer Jahn bought three Android Galaxy tablets for the holidays, but had to exchange one of them because the home button did not work correctly. The other two devices worked fine, they said.
Their son B.J. Stough, a freshman at Kirtland High School, said he likes to use the tablet for playing games and taking notes for school.
Thankfully, their exchange also was pretty hassle free and quick.
"I was actually surprised the lines were so short," Jennifer said.
Jarvi added he was glad he came early to avoid any crowds.
"We considered not even coming because we figured the crowds were going to be bad."
By Matt Skrajner - The News-Herald, Willoughby, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio)
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