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Hot deals on a frigid day: Arctic blast in Chippewa Valley fails to freeze shoppers’ mania for cut-rate prices

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    Patti Campbell, left, of Eau Claire shops at Shopko in Eau Claire on Tuesday with daughter Erin Schueller of Fridley, Minn. “Some of these deals are even better than they were just before Christmas,” Campbell says.

    Staff photo by Julian Emerson
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Chippewa Valley residents didn’t let bitter cold weather deter them from shopping Tuesday as they sought post-Christmas deals and returned gifts.

Many Eau Claire retailers were busy on the day after Christmas despite subzero temperatures throughout the day. Stores offered discounted prices on lots of items in an attempt to move merchandise that didn’t sell in the run-up to Christmas. 

At Shopko on the city’s southwest side, Eau Claire’s Patti Campbell returned clothing for one of her grandchildren purchased as a Christmas gift that wasn’t the right size. While at the store, she and daughter Erin Schueller of Fridley, Minn., perused racks of children’s clothing. 

“Some of these deals are even better than they were just before Christmas,” Campbell said, noting she and family members planned to watch the new Star Wars movie after their shopping outing. 

Others venturing out on the day following Christmas — traditionally among the busiest shopping days of the year for many retailers — said they found good buys as they bought everything from clothing to children’s toys to housewares significantly marked down from original prices. 

Heather Larson chose three large artificial wreaths from a shelf at Shopko and loaded them into her shopping cart. The decorative wreaths were half off their pre-Christmas price, and the savings were too much for Larson to pass up.

“I need to replace some of my Christmas decorations,” she said “and these are really nice wreaths at a really good price.”

Nearby, Pam Schwartz bought boxes of Christmas lights and new ornaments. 

“I don’t really need any more Christmas decorations, but these are just too nice not to buy them,” Schwartz said. “This is the time of year to get great deals on this stuff.” 

In the store’s clothing section, Eau Claire resident Bob Haller searched for a shirt and tie for an upcoming wedding. 

“No, not that one,” he said as he looked through different shirts before excitedly exclaiming, “Oh yeah, that’s it,” at a light-blue shirt to go with the dark-blue tie he had chosen. 

At Scheels in Oakwood Mall, shoppers packed aisles in search of such items as athletic clothing and winter gear. Terry McAuliffe of Eau Claire found a flannel shirt and socks designed to ward off frigid winter temperatures. 

“These sure are going to come in handy in this weather,” he said in reference to the current arctic blast across the Chippewa Valley. 

Younkers at Oakwood Mall was busy, too, as shoppers found bargains in clothing, housewares and other areas. Pam Czernos of Eau Claire bought a coat for her husband and a sweater for herself. 

“It’s certainly busy,” she said as she stood in a long line of customers Tuesday afternoon. “I guess the cold weather isn’t keeping people away from the stores.”

Stores didn’t seem as crowded to Eau Claire resident Jerry Fox as in past years on Dec. 26. “I think the cold kept some people home,” he said.  

For Bailey Poole, Tuesday was almost as enjoyable as Christmas. She was elated after buying a laptop computer at Best Buy for what she called “a great price.”

“Coming out and getting good deals like this, it’s almost like having Christmas a second time,” she said. 

Contact: 715-830-5911,  

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