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Roseville shoppers out in full force for Black Friday

Westfield Galleria, Best Buy and Target among the popular destinations
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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As expected, holiday shoppers rose early and stayed long for deals and doorbusters on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. The National Retail Federation estimates 138 million consumers will visit stores the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is four million more than last year. But the shopping doesn’t stop once Monday rolls around as that day now marks “Cyber Monday” when retailers offer special online promotions and one-day sales. Tammy Rose, of Roseville, and her mom, Sue Moore, prefer the hustle and bustle of the in-store experience. “We do this every year together,” Rose said, noting this is the 10th year of their tradition. The pair began their day at Target at 4 a.m. The department store advertised 60 pages worth of deals on digital cameras, high-definition televisions, toys, the Xbox 360, books, vacuum cleaners, apparel and much more. The mom and daughter team next visited Wal-Mart, where Rose purchased a laptop computer for $200 off the regular price. She also bought a 32-inch television. They arrived at Westfield Galleria in Roseville at 7 a.m. for another three hours of shopping before taking a break and grabbing a bite to eat at the food court. Customers packed the Galleria’s parking structures Friday morning, as drivers waited and maneuvered around to find an empty spot in the messy and crowded lots. About 125 of the mall’s roughly 240 stores are now open, including Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom’s and Sears — the last of the four department stores to reopen following the Oct. 21 arson that gutted a large portion of the shopping center. Officials with the City of Roseville eagerly awaited the post-Thanksgiving Day crowds to see how shoppers would respond to the half-open mall. The Galleria provides $3.2 million annually in sales tax revenue to the city. In the fourth quarter of last year, the mall provided $1.1 million in sales tax revenue — up to a third of the annual sales tax revenues it provides for the whole year. At 5 a.m., Westfield gave out “It’s my mall” coffee tumblers with coffee gift cards to the first 300 people at the Grand Court. Throughout the day, children waited for their chance to sit on Santa’s lap and share their Christmas lists. The checkout line in Gap wrapped through the store, and in other shops, people complained of waiting in line for more than an hour to make their purchases. Courtney Dunlap relaxed on a couch next to three large bags. “I have bags stuffed inside other bags,” she said. Dunlap, her mom and two sisters left their house around 3:30 a.m. to arrive in time for Target’s 4 a.m. opening. They also visited Best Buy, Carter’s and the Galleria. “Target was the best so far,” she said. “We were in and out of the store really fast. They had like 50 million workers and every check stand was open.” Dunlap was in town from Reno to celebrate Thanksgiving. She said waking up bright and early to shop on Black Friday is a family tradition. After four hours of mall shopping, the family was ready to call it a day. “We’re done,” Dunlap said with a sigh. The bustle at the Galleria was a far cry from the quiet, empty streets of downtown Roseville. Retail stores are in short supply along Vernon Street, which has a couple restaurants, a bank, a few consignment shops, barber shops and two theaters. Michael Leeman, of Turn the Page Press, said business was slow Friday. But the bulk of the bookstore’s business comes from online sales, seminars and mobile bookstore events. The store opened for regular hours and no customers had walked through the doors by early afternoon. The Fountains also had a relatively serene scene compared to the Galleria across the street with plenty of parking available and a slower pace among shoppers. Customers waited in short lines for clerks to ring up their purchases at the Z Gallerie, although a couple dozen people browsed the shelves of the home décor and furniture boutique. In Vera Bradley, about 15 people crammed into the small space, buying decorative fabric handbags, wallets, luggage and accessories. Tom and Michelle Gibson of Roseville had only been out shopping for about 45 minutes — starting around 11 a.m. — when they were ready to stop and grab lunch. They planned to avoid all the busy big stores. “We’re not one of the crazies,” Tom Gibson said, with a laugh. His wife said their relatives visiting from southern California decided to spend the morning at the Galleria. “They’re from Santa Maria and they don’t have a big mall there,” Tom Gibson said. “So they’re really excited.” Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- Do you dread searching for a parking spot at the mall? No need to worry about the hassle. Spend $10 or more at Westfield Galleria at Roseville and receive a free trip on Roseville Transit (offer excludes purchases made at Nordstrom, Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears). The bus will take on the driving, so shoppers can focus on finding the perfects gifts. Shoppers will also save on gas money and help reduce busy holiday traffic. To take advantage of this offer, either ride the bus or be dropped off at the mall. Bring the purchase receipt to the Galleria Concierge desk to receive a free ticket for Roseville Transit Local Service (offer not valid for Dial-A-Ride or Commuter Service). Tickets must be claimed on the same day as the purchase and are valid on the date of issue only. For convenience, Local Routes A and B offer bus service to the Galleria four times per hour. For trip planning assistance or more information, call Roseville Transit at (916) 774-5757 or go to www.roseville.ca.us/transit.