Store gives away iPods, scooters for 99 cents

November 12, 2009 12:23:00 PM PST
Black Friday shopping frenzy is kicking into high gear in San Jose. Even though Thanksgiving is two weeks away, it is all because of the grand opening of the first 99 Cents Only store in the city.

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The grand opening celebration of this 99 Cents Only store on West San Carlos Street drew some extraordinary crowds. Hundreds of shoppers showed up, building up lines that looked much like a post-thanksgiving Black Friday event.

The deals are motivating.

"So I saw the ad and was like 'oh good deal, 99 cents for a scooter.' You can't beat it because the market value is like probably like $40 to $50," said shopper Jolon Nicolau.

Nicolau showed up at 3 a.m., and one of 99 in line able to buy a scooter for only 99 cents. The first lucky nine in line were able to score an apple iPod nano for a mere 99 cents as well.

"This is the best deal you can find anywhere right? 99 cents for an iPod nano," said shopper Ericson Tianzi.

To capture more holiday shopping dollars during these fragile economic times, retailers nationwide have started offering spectacular promotions much earlier.

"I'm looking for the deals wherever I can find them -- Target, Walmart, wherever I can find them. Just to be able to afford during the recession," said shopper Ralph.

With California's unemployment soaring above 12 percent, people like Army reservist Walt Carbaugh are watching their bottom line.

"I've got some friends who have lost their jobs, so yes, it makes you stop and think about the value and anytime you can save a dollar you do," he said.

From fresh produce to salsa, belts to batteries it is all only 99 cents. This chain of stores says it's been a life-saver for many during this economy.

"We've got so many nice letters and comments from customers about our stores and how much it's helped them and their families get through these tight times, and we're confident we'll retain these customers beyond the recession period," said Sr. VP of operations Mike Geretoi.

People were still lined up to get inside on Thursday morning and many say they're doing some of their holiday gift shopping because the deals are too good to pass up.

While the 99 cents specials for a limited number of iPods and scooters are over, the new store is offering other special promotional items over the next week.

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