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LAS CRUCES – ‘Twas the night of Thanksgiving, and all through Las Cruces, not a creature was stirring – except for the thousands lined up at the mall and big box stores hoping giddily for extreme deals on electronics and gifts.
The Thanksgiving spread was still hot on the table when first-time Black Friday shopper Dale Myers headed to Target to get in line around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, hoping to get a coveted 46-inch flatscreen TV for $298, some pots and pans and a piggy bank for his daughter.
“We ate and ran, literally,” he said, standing near the front of the hundreds-deep line in front of the store. “People in my family were still eating.”He wasn’t the first to arrive, though – that honor belonged to Angela Barela, of Las Cruces, and her two teenage daughters, who arrived at 2:30 p.m., determined to get one of those 30 flatscreen TVs, plus some $1.99 DVDs and discount-priced towels.
This year, the sales started Thursday before many people had put their turkey in the oven: Kmart opened at 6 a.m. and old Navy at 10 a.m. Night sales began at 10 p.m. for the Outlet Shops of El Paso and at Walmart, with Best buy, Kohls, old Navy and Target opening their doors at midnight on Friday. JCPenney and Sears followed, opening at 4 a.m., Barnes and Noble and the Mesilla Valley Mall at 6 a.m., and Harbor Freight and Dillards at 7 a.m.
Myers and another shopper, Cecilia Sanchez, of Las Cruces, who showed up at Target not long after he did, also had their eyes on that 46-inch flatscreen, and were part of the first group of 20 given tickets and maps and allowed in the store at its midnight opening.
“All of us have made friends here,” Sanchez said, smiling. “We all said we’re going to come back next year.”
“We’re now the Black Friday group,” Myers said.
And even after hitting Target, Barela and Sanchez said they would continue their shopping – Barela at Walmart, to “see what they have left,” and Sanchez to Walmart and Ross.
“We might go to JCPenney,” Myers said. “But, we might go to bed too.”
Down the street at Best buy, those who made it to the front of the line didn’t even get to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal – Julio and Arely O’Hara, of El Paso, set up their tent around 8 a.m. Wednesday, and had the line to themselves for hours.
“It was a shorter line,” Julio O’Hara said. At the Best buy in El Paso, “there was 15 groups of people.”
Still, operations manager Harry Day said the resulting line – alert due to the relatively early hour, and kept sane with tickets for highly desired items – was the largest the store had ever seen, with all 120 “amazing” employees ready to work sometime on Black Friday.
The O’Haras, who slept in front of the store Wednesday night, and braved the cold and the rain in the process, were ready before midnight to buy one of the store’s 20 42-inch Sharp LCD TVs for $199, one of 20 $179 Lenovo laptops – for themselves – and the newest PlayStation and Xbox consoles for $200 each, as gifts.
“We’ve been chilling – and going crazy,” joked Julio O’Hara. “We had a tent, chairs, a lot of coffee.”
That helped make the process worth it, he said, especially when 800 people ended up lining up behind them by the time the doors were getting ready to open.
“We’re first. That’s always worth it,” O’Hara said with a smile. “I don’t know about the guys on the very end, but this is most likely what we’ll do next year.”
Ashley Meeks can be reached at (575) 541-5462; follow her on Twitter @AshleyMeeks.
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November 18, 2011, 10:44 AM EST
Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) — Gap inc., the largest U.S. apparel chain, said third-quarter profit declined 36 percent as sales dropped at its namesake and old Navy chains.
Net income fell to $193 million, or 38 cents a share, from $303 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, the San Francisco- based company said today in a statement. Analysts projected 37 cents, the average of 24 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Glenn Murphy said the company is “intensely focused” on improving sales through changes to merchandise assortments and marketing plans. Third-quarter comparable sales declined 6 percent at Gap North America and 4 percent at old Navy.
the company announced earlier this month that it plans to open about 1,000 stores on Thanksgiving Day to lure shoppers. Locations that will be open include about 800 old Navy stores and 116 Gap stores.
Companywide comparable sales, which include online revenue, declined 5 percent compared with an increase of 1 percent a year earlier, Gap said. Total revenue fell 1.9 percent to $3.59 billion.
Gap repeated its forecast for 2011 per-share profit of $1.40 to $1.50. the average estimate of 27 analysts was $1.50.
–Editors: Kevin Orland, Robin Ajello
To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Lutz in new York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at