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Shoppers hit Willmar stores in search of a deal

Katelyn Visser of Willmar folds and sorts items Sunday on the sale tables at Vanity in the Kandi Mall in Willmar. Store managers say the shopping crowds picked up in the afternoon Sunday. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)1 / 3
Melanie Crowley of Pennock checks out the reduced-price Christmas ornaments on display Sunday at the Herberger's home store at the Kandi Mall in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)2 / 3
Tami Thein, right, and her husband, Bob, of Spicer look over the reduced-price Christmas items Sunday at Target in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)3 / 3

WILLMAR -- It seems that few people can resist half-price wrapping paper or Christmas ornaments at 75 percent off.

Post-Christmas shopping took off in Willmar Sunday.

At Target, the holiday decorations and merchandise had been moved into one area of the store, which was packed with people getting started on supplies for next year.

Tami and Bob Thein of Spicer went to Target for some basic items, not for post-holiday sales, but they found their way to the seasonal section where Tami Thein was putting "wrapping and boxes and bags and tape" into a cart.

She said she had used up everything she bought at last year's after-Christmas sales, so she needs to stock up again.

Bob Thein watched their cart fill. As his wife moved on to another display, he smiled and said, "It's got her started now."

The Target seasonal section included some holiday apparel and candy along with decorations and all sorts of wrapping supplies.

Stores in the Kandi Mall were open Sunday morning but it was relatively quiet, several store managers said.

"After church and lunch it got nuts," said Jenna Peterson, manager at the Vanity women's clothing store in the mall.

Peterson's store was busy early Sunday afternoon with shoppers looking for after-Christmas deals, some of them with gift cards in their pockets.

The store had a busy holiday season and sold a lot of gift cards, she said. Now, she expects the cards to bring a nice boost for year-end and January sales, she added.

At Herberger's home store, some holiday merchandise was already marked off 75 percent. One couple went to the checkout with more than a half dozen tree ornaments. A woman walked through the store with several small decorative Christmas trees in her hands.

In the early afternoon, Herberger's manager Sandra Zenzen said Sunday had been a good day.

"We've had nice traffic, good steady business," she said.

Some years in the past might have had a quicker start on the day after Christmas, but it's hard to compare them because this year it was a Sunday, Zenzen said.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340