Black Friday bonanza

Marshalltown stores see influx of holiday shoppers

Menards, which neighbors Theisen’s, saw a nearly full parking lot by around 8 a.m. Friday morning, with only a handful of empty spaces for the steady stream of cars and trucks turning in off of Iowa Avenue.

From the early morning of Black Friday onward, many Central Iowans brought their business to Marshalltown stores in search of good deals on Christmas gifts, day-to-day items and even a little something for themselves.

“It’s been quite a bit busier than it was a year ago,” said Theisen’s Home, Farm and Auto store manager Rod Lorenzen of the Black Friday 2017 turnout.

He said there were about 60 shoppers waiting in line for doors to open at 6 a.m., several hours earlier than the store normally opens. A steady stream of Black Friday customers kept coming throughout the morning.

“We don’t do 4-hour specials, whatever we have on sale, we run it all day,” Lorenzen said.

Theisen’s next door neighbor, Menards, saw a parking lot full of vehicles throughout the morning as well; many cars could be seen driving from one store to the other in search of sales.

Also bustling with customers was the Marshalltown Mall, with several stores offering Black Friday deals.

One shopper at the mall’s J.C. Penny location, Marshalltown resident Desiree Tacclin, said she and her husband were looking for “sales on clothes [and] various gifts for our children.”

Another shopper at the mall, Mel Wohl of Kellogg, said she made the roughly half-hour long drive to Marshalltown to shop at several stores.

“We’ll be going to Younkers and Hy-Vee and Menards,” Wohl said.

Sports Page store manager Austin Case said items like fan-wear and athletic shoes were popular Friday morning.

“A lot of people are coming in for that,” he said of the sales on apparel and shoes.

J.C. Penny door floor lead associate April Stewart said she was impressed with the number of shoppers in the store Friday morning.

“We’ve had great turnout so far,” she said.

In recent years, online shopping during the holiday season has been a topic of discussion nationwide, especially when it comes to Black Friday.

“We do a lot of our shopping online now,” Wohl said, adding she still prefers to buy clothing items at brick-and-mortar stores.

Stewart said stores like J.C. Penny do have an edge when it comes to bringing customers to physically shop at their stores.

“I feel like it’s an advantage,” she said. “It’s better to feel and try on and hold up [clothing].”

Lorenzen said many items sold at Theisen’s, like animal feed and farm equipment, are easier for customers to pick up in-store than online, adding “I do believe that online is affecting retail in general.”


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or