Updated: December 24, 2012 7:23AM
JOLIET — Gander Mountain on Essington Road had a line of people waiting to get in before the doors opened at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
In the store consumers had the opportunity to take advantage of door buster deals starting Thanksgiving and running through Saturday.
Sean Lestina, 37, of Braidwood, is a heavy equipment operator. Lestina came out early to shop for good deals and to purchase a gun cabinet. His plan was to be in and out in a jiffy.
“I’m going to be spending Thanksgiving with my family,” Lestina said. “I’m going to go into a food coma.”
After Lestina awakes from that self-induced food coma, he’s pretty sure he will be back out again.
“I will probably hit up Walmart,” he said.
Lee Berggren, 43, of Serena, is a Wastewater Operator. He traveled about 40 miles to Gander Mountain to pickup his shotgun he purchased a few days ago. “This is the only time I could get it because I work during the week,” said Berggren.
Berggren said he disagrees with how retailers handle Black Friday and, now, Thanksgiving.
“They commercialized everything the way things are now with the economy the way it is, the stores are getting greedier and greedier,” said Berggren. “They are trying to get every last dollar they can if they have to stay open on Thanksgiving, I just think it’s way too much.”
Barbara Godawa, 54, Naperville, who works in insurance, said she came out to get the best deal. But the serious shopping for Godowa, starts later she said.
“We are going to gather around and have a traditional dinner,” she said. ”We eat at 1p.m., we go through ads and pick our grab bag and get ready, and decide where we are going to go. I just don’t know what, where or how many yet. We do it every year. It’s a tradition with me and my two sisters.”
The store had a steady flow of customers and traffic was flowing smoothly with three registers open.
Store manager Nancy Chapp Gander Mountain is getting very big into Facebook and Twitter.
At 10 a.m. K-Mart’s parking lot across town on Jefferson was buzzing with Turkey day shoppers. Doors opened at 6am.
Rosa Becerra, 33, of Joliet, is an administrative assistant who came to K-Mart Thursday morning for the good sales. She also took full advantage of shopping without the kids. Becerra is heading to her brothers house for Thanksgiving, but her shopping isn’t over yet, despite the all the bags if merchandise she came out with. “Sears, I’ll probably go to Sears tomorrow,” she said.
Luz Vega, 40, of Joliet, is schoolteacher who was shopping on Thanksgiving to save money.
“It is supposed to be cheaper,” said Vega.
Later on, Vega is looking forward to meeting her and family and friends from church for a meal and to thank god for everything.
Vega doesn’t think stores have gone too far for Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping, but she will not be going out again. “I’m already done,” said Vega.
Julie James, 36, of Elwood, works in Marketing, came out to K-Mart with her sister for the pre-thanksgiving sale. James opted to stay in her car and wait. Have stores gone too far?
“If there are people that are going to go, you might as well cater to them,” said James.
After a meal with the family, James will head out for more door busting deals against her will. “Unfortunately yes, just because the husband wants too.”