Eager to spend their Christmas cash early, shoppers started camping out a week ahead of time at the Best Buy store near Century III Mall, hoping for bargains on a new Blu-ray player or Samsung laptop bundle. The weather cooperated, for the most part, for those hearty souls who like their shopping experience to be in line rather than online.
Christmas creep leaped into the headlines as more stores decided midnight after Thanksgiving dinner was not soon enough to stoke the holiday shopping fires. And despite online petitions that collected hundreds of thousands of signatures, open they did with long lines reported Thursday night outside of Toy R Us, Target, Best Buy stores and more. Some of the shoppers who showed up said they wouldn't have minded if the stores had waited a few more hours.
Those hoping to go over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house this weekend couldn't count on renting a car to get them there. Superstorm Sandy damaged thousands of rental company cars in the Northeast, depleting the inventory just as demand went up for the holidays -- and from people whose vehicles were damaged by the storm. Coupled with lingering mass transit problems, the few rental cars available came at a premium. One New York man said a car rental company was asking nearly $350 a day for a car -- so he was considering renting a moving truck instead at a daily rate of $19.
Negotiations between Hostess and one of its major unions broke down -- again -- renewing fears that Hostess would liquidate and possibly take traditional sponge cake treat Twinkies down with it. When trouble first surfaced, people began hoarding their favorite Hostess treats. First lady Michelle Obama may not approve, but a couple of generations grew up in the belief that if a Twinkie showed up in their school lunch box, it was going to be a good day.
Steve Twedt: email@example.com or 412-263-1963.