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Point of Sale

An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

The surprisingly popular Black Friday hit: Target's teddy bear

Here's what we know about the bear:

It was on sale at Target for $10 and was quietly tucked in the bottom righthand corner about halfway through the retailer's 36-page Black Friday circular.

The three-foot-tall brown bear isn't normally sold in Target stores, a company spokesman confirmed. It was one of those special buys just for Black Friday that retailers often bring in during one of the biggest shopping events of the year. And this particular bear was only available in stores, not on Target.com.

As Target's stores opened at 6 p.m. across the nation last night, the bear quickly became one of the first items to sell out within minutes. It was a common site in shopping carts, often heaped on top of big-screen TVs.

At the Target store in Minnetonka, I saw a mad dash for the bears, piled in a box toward the back of the store.

About 15 minutes or so after the store opened, this was the only one left and it was quickly snatched up after I took this picture.

Some shopping carts were stuffed with two -- in one case three -- teddy bears.

It's tempting to try to over-analyze why there was so much demand for the bear. But the allure seems pretty simply: it was big, cuddly, and $10.

Still, it was an item that was not the radar of most experts who closely track the hot items on Black Friday. When I did a cursory search of Twitter, I couldn't find many mentions of the bear before yesterday.

So it appears to have been one of those Black Friday sensations that took everyone, including Target, by surprise. Here's how it played out on Twitter.

Later today, some more details began trickling in. Target says the bear was made by Best Made Toys. And the bear was the single bestselling plush toy it's sold on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving) in the last several years.

Given all of this, some shoppers are wondering if they'll get another chance to get the bear. But, no, a Target spokesman says there are no plans to carry the bear in stores beyond the Black Friday sale.

3 weekend warehouse sales: Athletic apparel, woolens and eyeglasses

Three weekend warehouse sales are going on now or starting tomorrow on athletic high-performance apparel; Faribault woolens and eyeglasses. All offer discounts of 50 to 80 percent whether you're shopping for yourself or gifts.

If you haven’t heard of Storm Creek high-performance apparel, that’s a good thing. It will save you cash. You’ve probably heard of North Face and Columbia, but you pay a higher price for name recognition. Hastings, Minn.-based Storm Creek started in 2006 by Doug Jackson. It’s sold in smaller retailers such as Midwest Mountaineering and Duluth Trading Company. During the sale from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., Nov. 21, more than 15,000 pieces will be 50 to 80% off, including insulated vests, running apparel, and fleece pullovers.  Example: a soft-shell jacket with a micro velvet lining for $40 that other brands sell for $160. It will be held at 935 Blue Gentian Rd in Eagan. Call 651-480-3000 for details.

Bruce Bildsten, chief marketing officer at Faribault Woolen Mill said its holiday overstock sale won’t be repeated, so this may be the best opportunity to get more than 4,000 first-quality scarves for $15 (reg. $60 to $70), more than 2,200 throws discounted from $100 to $220 and 700 blankets for $30 to $125 that were $85 to $350. The sale will be Sat., Nov. 21 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mill at 1500 NW 2nd Ave., Faribault, MN (about an hour south of the Twin Cities)

Check out a $39 and $59 designer frame sale with thousands of frames. Inver Grove Family Eye Clinic will hold a sale in Southdale in Edina on Sat.-Sun., Nov. 21-22. Lens prices are also discounted to $1 less than Costco’s prices. At press time, the sale’s location in Southdale in Edina is not known. Call 651-455-1492 for details.