TAMPA — Designer luggage and jeans and shoes.
Xiomara Tate snatched as much of it as she could just before the newest Nordstrom Rack opened Thursday at Walter's Crossing in Tampa.
Tate, 22, won the 90-second, $2,000 shopping spree in a drawing that morning.
The first bargain shoppers had arrived at 5:50 a.m. Three hours later, deal hounds wrapped around the building, sipping coffee and noshing pastries. At 9 a.m., the doors opened to about 650 shoppers.
First in line: three co-workers from a nearby store and a mother and daughter who all pulled into the parking lot at the same time.
The daughter, Nicole Brinson, 26, had waited a year since hearing about the planned store, at 1702 N Dale Mabry Highway. She took the day off from work and drove from her home in Land O'Lakes.
Avinash Sachden updated his Facebook page as he stood in line. Sachden, 39, hoped to win the drawing and score a Giorgio Armani suit for job interviews.
Tate, the winner, didn't pull into the parking lot until 8:41 a.m. She put her entry into a bin a minute before her name was called at 8:45 a.m.
"I got really lucky," said Tate, a University of South Florida student who works at a restaurant. "I should be studying."
Her new duds will give her a polished look at school, where she often wears pajamas to biomedical science classes. She's set to graduate in December and plans to be a doctor.
This is the sixth Nordstrom Rack to open in Florida and features off-price clearance merchandise specifically designed for sale there along with clearance items or surplus from Nordstrom stores, such as the one at International Plaza.
Keme Jenkins of South Tampa picked out several pairs of shoes. She used to travel to an Orlando store and was happy for the shorter commute. "These are really great prices," she said, carrying a stack of three shoeboxes as she pointed out prices less than her $100-per-pair budget.
Shoes are popular buys at Nordstrom, which opened in 1901 as a shoe store. Nordstrom Rack has 82 stores in 23 states. Managers hired 70 local people to staff the new 45,000-square-foot store, which is in the former Circuit City, just north of Interstate 275.
Elisabeth Parker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3431.