Retailers Offer Big Discounts
The day after Christmas is known for its great shopping deals, and some Moore County shoppers braved the chilly, damp weather Friday to hit some stores.
Retailers were offering big markdowns in an attempt to lure customers to buy a few extra items they might have missed or get a head start on next year's shopping.
With sales slowed by the sluggish economy, retailers were hopeful that they could improve sales by offering low prices and longer store hours.
Some stores were offering discounts of up to 80 percent on certain items.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that holiday retail sales had dropped significantly, according to new data released on Christmas Day. Most stores, especially those selling high-end "luxury" items such as jewelry and electronics, did not receive the customary bounce from holiday shopping. The Journal reported that holiday sales were actually worse than forecast by industry experts.
Regardless, local businesses and shoppers were prepared for a busy day.
At Best Buy in Aberdeen, a steady flow of customers were moving in and out of the store Friday morning. The electronics store has offered extended hours since Dec. 21, opening at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve. While many of the customers were exchanging or returning gifts, some were in search of bargains and snatching up some new things.
Chad Floyd, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said he ran by the store to exchange a gift and buy a few things for the weekend. He was on his way to Charlotte to see his Tar Heels play West Virginia in the Meineke Car Care bowl Saturday.
Floyd said he was trying to take advantage of some of the sales since he had some Christmas money to spend.
The scene was similar at Pinecrest Plaza, where some of the stores were offering special doorbusters. Goody's Family Clothing had a giant "80 percent off" sign emblazoned over its entrance. Its next-door neighbor, the Shoe Dept., was offering as much as half off on some of its items.
Sherry Sawyer, of Whispering Pines, and her mother Pat Carver, who lives near Elizabeth City, got up early to try to beat other shoppers to the stores. They started between 6:30 and 7 o'clock in the morning.
"We're just out running around," Sawyer said as they were leaving Goody's at 10:30 a.m..
They said they found some good deals, including items that were between 60 and 70 percent off.
Carver said that she was surprised that a couple of the stores she went to weren't offering any deals. She also said that the stores weren't as crowded as they normally are on the day after Christmas, something she attributes to the ailing economy.
"It just hasn't been that busy," she said. "It's because of the economy."
Martha Hastings, assistant manager at Goody's, said she expected a big day at her store, but conceded it would be a far cry from Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when customers were lined up as early at 4 a.m. outside the store.
"No, it's not the same," she said. "[But] we have a lot of customers. It's a big sales day. All the Christmas items are doorbusters."
Hastings said most items in the store were marked down between 50 and 80 percent.
Chad Gross, a manager at Staples in Aberdeen, said he observed a steady flow of traffic Friday. He said it wasn't anything near like it was on Black Friday either, but he said that customers were in search of a little bit of everything. GPS navigation systems, laptops, office furniture, digital cameras and digital picture frames were among the more popular items.
"It's going pretty good," he said. "It's been busy."
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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