NORMAL — Shopping for deals the day after Christmas is a tradition for Michelle Clemons of Bloomington and her sister, Ashley Youngsma, now of Franklin, Tenn.
“I think it started with our grandmother years ago,” Youngsma said while finalizing her sale at the Loft at the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal. “But my sister and I love shopping together. We have a lot of fun.”
The day after Christmas is typically the third-busiest shopping day of the year, according to the National Retail Federation, following the day after Thanksgiving and the last Saturday before Christmas.
“We’ve been pretty busy so far,” said Beckie Harweger, a sales associate at the Loft. “We’ve got some pretty good deals.”
Youngsma said she was all about finding those deals.
“That’s part of what makes it fun,” she said.
Youngsma, who grew up in Central Illinois, was enjoying her visit, except for the cold temperatures. Tuesday’s high temperature was around 10 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Lincoln.
“I’m ready to get back to where it’s about 40 degrees instead of zero,” she said.
While the sisters were shopping for deals, others were exchanging gifts. That’s what brought Travis Lux, and his brother, Lewis, to Best Buy at 2103 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington, on Tuesday. Travis was exchanging a set of speakers after receiving some duplicates.
“It’s such a good gift that everybody had the same idea,” Lewis said.
“So, I’m going to get a little bit of an upgrade,” Travis added.
Travis Lux was also looking forward to getting back to his home in Arkansas where there are warmer temperatures and no snow.
“The weather didn’t cause us too many problems since we got here before it hit,” he said of his trip to Central Illinois. “We should be fine on the way back, but it’s really cold up here.”
The shopping put the finishing touches on a busy weekend for the family. It was the first Christmas for Lewis Lux of Normal, and his wife, Stacey as pastors of the Nexus Church at 716 E. Empire St., Bloomington.
“It’s been a great weekend and one that we will remember for a long time,” he said. “This is a great time of the year.”
Seth Braker of Catalyst Construction in Bloomington had a different reason for braving the cold temperatures and crowds Tuesday. He was at Best Buy doing research on mobile devices for the company.
“Believe it or not, but the laptops are too bulky to be out on projects today, and so we are looking for devices that are smaller and can still do the work we need,” he said. “The new systems are changing so fast and we have to keep up.”
Best Buy General Manager Dan Waller said the store was busy early Tuesday, but the merchandise return line appeared to be smaller than in years past. Last year, the day after Christmas fell on a Monday, and several shoppers had the day off because Christmas fell on a Sunday.
“I think people are coming in looking for good deals, mostly,” Waller said. “There are a lot of great buys out there.”