Read the original story here in The Oregonian.
About 800 to 1,000 students -- mostly freshmen -- were expected to attend, said store manager Vincson Green.
From 10 to 11 p.m., Target closed the store to regular customers and blasted pop music while employees directed students to bedding, electronics and boxes full of $2 hangers.
Many students had already bought furniture, at Target or elsewhere, while moving in over the weekend.
"I already did my shopping before, so everything's already decorated," said Whitney Diggs, 18, who said she only needed to buy a hat.
Freshman roommates Haley Moore and Becky Martin, both 18, were looking for Christmas lights and other decorations for their dorm room. They planned to spend up to $50 combined.
Retailers expect a slump in this year's back-to-school shopping season, which started in early July and continues through this month.The National Retail Federation projected that families would spend an average of $635, compared to $689 in 2012. In the Western U.S., the federation expected shoppers to spend just $627.
Freshman Aimee Ritter, 18, said she came to buy items she hadn't known she needed, like a wall hook for her keys. "I've been looking around at other kids dorms and getting ideas for what I should have in mind," she said.
Target's pharmacy and the Starbucks in the lobby both stayed open late for the event. Starbucks offered free samples of pumpkin bread, lemon bread, pumpkin spice lattes, salted caramel mochas and chocolate chai tea lattes.
"We're trying to make it a party atmosphere," Green said. If the event is successful, the store would consider lengthening it to multiple hours and including other local schools in future years, he said.
"We want the students to realize that we're here," Green said.
-- Nicole Friedman