Entries in Holiday Shopping (3)


Pre-Holiday Heist Targets Layaway Gifts

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(TAYLOR, Pa.) -- The holiday season isn’t here yet, but a group of real-life grinches has already caused trouble at two Pennsylvania Wal-Mart stores.

Police say the group of thieves, which they believe consists of three men and one woman, have stolen from Wal-Mart trailers holding presents, such as bikes and electronics, that have been put on layaway.

“It’s just devastating. People have been through so much, and now they’re hitting them before Christmas? It’s terrible,” shopper Sandra Schmidt told ABC News affiliate WNEP.

Wal-Mart began offering layaway plans to customers on Sept. 16, a month earlier than last year,  to “give families an extra month to shop and stretch their paychecks further this holiday season,” a statement on the retailer’s website said.

The thieves, who police believe are in their teens or early 20s, were captured on surveillance video walking out of a Taylor, Pa., Wal-Mart without paying for the same tools they would later use to break into trailers where layaway gifts are held for customers.

Between the store in Taylor and another heist in Dickson City, the thieves have managed to get away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, police say.

In a statement, Wal-Mart vowed to stand by their customers.

“It’s really sad someone would steal gifts for the holidays,” a spokesperson told ABC News. “At the end of the day, we will do what is right for the customer.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Post Office Expects 40% More Volume in Holiday Mail Traffic

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Get ready for long lines at the post office.  Monday is likely to be the busiest day of the year for the United States Postal Service.  It is expecting to handle 800 million pieces of mail during the day, 40 percent more than the normal daily volume. 

Officials say if you get your cards and packages in the system by Tuesday, you have a pretty good chance of getting them to their destinations in time for Christmas.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Black Friday Bargains May Brighten Retail Gloom

Customers wait in line outside a Sears department store in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Holiday generosity pent up over the past two years may finally be vented in a Black Friday rush.  Retailers across the country opened their doors overnight to provide shoppers the opportunity to find bargains on items they will give as gifts and sometimes, keep for themselves.

Best Buy stores were set to open at 5 a.m. in every time zone but at one in Manhattan, lines were so long store security opened the doors at 3:30 a.m.  When Macy's in Herald Square opened at 4:30 a.m., there were 7,000 people waiting to get in.

A woman who skipped Thanksgiving dinner to wait outside a store in Atlanta said she was just out to get some bargains and was headed to Wal-Mart next.  "I better get something," she said.  In California, people slept outside Best Buy.

Experts say shoppers may be ready this year to part with a little more money on items that are not so much "must haves" as they are "desires."  Many of the holiday gifts purchased last year and the year before tended to be more practical in nature, while this year there may be a feeling among some that they can splurge just a little.

Still, with unemployment still right around 9 percent, many people will keep their belts tight.  Retailers have those people in mind too.  Target stores were offering $3 appliances Friday morning, including things like hand-mixers and other small kitchen items. 

No hard numbers indicating the success of the sales are due on Friday but the National Retail Federation is expected to report figures on Saturday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio