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WQAD Throwback: Customers pack the Moline Kmart for Thanksgiving Day deals in 2001

The manager described it as "a zoo" but it was good for business, as they doubled their profits from the previous year.
Credit: WQAD
Black Friday 2001 at the Moline Kmart

MOLINE, Ill. — Editor's note: This is part of a series looking back at stories out of the WQAD archives. This particular report was filed on November 22, 2001 by reporter Vanessa Van Hyfte. 

The manager at the Moline Kmart was overwhelmed by the turnout at their Thanksgiving Day sale (in 2001).

“It's been wonderful. Actually, it's been a zoo. About 5:30 this morning, they were already lined up at my front doors. By the time we opened at 7, they were lined up clear to almost 23rd Avenue,” the manager said.

Talk of turkey turned to bargains here at the Moline Kmart, so much for the Thanksgiving holiday. This crowd was ready to do some serious shopping.

“The employees love it, the customers seem to love it because they can come in and get the specials today where they have to wait till tomorrow at other stores.”

The early morning crowd wiped Kmart out of bargain-priced chips, soda, toys and Game Boys. Even the shopping carts were hard to come by.

“By seven o'clock this morning, I'd say ten minutes after, we were out of carts. We were chasing carts, taking people loading their cars and bring their carts back in for the next customer waiting so it's been like that all day.”

Many customers got a jumpstart on their Christmas shopping but some came out just for recreation. “Just getting out of the house from all the kids and everything that's going on,” one father commented.

The Kmart manager says talk of a holiday spending slow-down doesn't seem to matter here. Today (November 22, 2001) the store doubled last year's profits.

“The sales in the store have been great. We're above, I haven't seen no concern of, you know, the problems with September 11. People are out spending.”

And you can bet the crowd will be back again tomorrow in full force.

“I'll be back tomorrow morning right away for the early bird specials,” a customer said.

Editor's note: Kmart in Moline (located at 5000 Avenue of the Cities) permanently closed in January 2019.

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