Shoppers Line Up Early As Biggest East Texas Wal-Mart Opens - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/20/06-Tyler

Shoppers Line Up Early As Biggest East Texas Wal-Mart Opens

It wasn't the crack of dawn, but close.

Reporter: "You're the first in line!"

Customer: "That's because I was quick getting up here."

The opening of the new Supercenter at Troup Highway and Shiloh Road in Tyler was planned to be a big event. Inside, associates gathered for a rally. Outside, the seconds seemed like hours for these folks.

Sandra Walton traveled from Troup.

"I just wanted to be here for this opening because it was so exciting and it's like, oh yes, it's finally open! Because I kept waiting and waiting and asking, when's it going to open?"

Shelby Allison can't be here long. She got here two hours early, but she'll soon be late for class.

"Where's the first place you're going to go? I'm just going to step in and leave. That's what my mom said."

Her mother said she could be the first person in the door then she has to go to school.

The key finally turned and the wait was over. The Wal-Mart greeting most customers don't usually get was a cheer for teamwork. But for most folks it was time to just shop.  It was off to the toy aisle for some.

"Actually we're here to get a Tickle Me Elmo."

By the time many wound their way through the aisles, Elmo Extreme had disappeared.  But not for the mother of an Army soldier.

"I got two Elmos. One for Chris to take back to Afghanistan on Tuesday, for his Humvee," said Roxanne Key.. 

Private First Class Chris Key says, "I'll probably be made fun of, but I don't care. I'll be the only one over there with a Tickle Me Elmo in Afghanistan."

Ten minutes into the life of this store, it was time to call in another shipment.

Wal-Mart also donated $18,000 to eight East Texas charities or public safety organizations.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com

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