CRESTVIEW — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are long gone, but sales haven’t ended, local merchants say.
However, north county shoppers wanting large electronics or appliances had better hurry.
“Everybody is getting down to crunch time,” Tommy Rivers, the Crestview Sears manager, said. “The big items are getting hard to get.
“There’ll be sales going on almost daily. We get emails with new sales every morning.”
New merchandise arriving at stores is part of the plan for repeat business.
“All of our stores received some new toys this week that customers haven’t seen on the shelves yet,” Wal-Mart district manager Jon Kurpil said. “We actually had some reductions that came down this week in our toy department to spur a little more shopping.”
Local small businesses continue to offer bargains on everything from sewing machines to TVs, ATVs, clothing and tablet computers.
On Dec. 12, the Red Raspberry Boutique on Main Street held a “12-12-12” sale, at which the first 12 customers and every 12th customer thereafter received a gift and 12 percent off select merchandise.
Store clerk Cindy Holobaugh and storeowner Donna Howard said they noticed an increase in Main Street business that began on Black Friday.
“I think Main Street is doing well. I look up and down the street and see more cars and a lot of foot traffic,” Holobaugh said. “Donna always encourages people to spend Crestview money here in Crestview. She wishes people would look to Crestview first and help the local economy.”
Kicking off the shopping season early with Thanksgiving evening sales, the Crestview Wal-Mart ended with a sluggish Black Friday morning. Other stores also noticed slower sales that day.
“Black Friday was a disappointment for us,” Rivers said. “We opened at 4 a.m. and it wasn’t the usual rush. About mid-morning, the Wal-Mart customers stopped by. We didn’t get busy until 9 a.m. but we stayed busy till 3.”
Business at Tractor Supply Co., which specializes in farm supplies, hardware and rural-themed giftware and toys, hasn’t slacked off since the holiday shopping season began Nov. 23, Assistant Manager Jeff Roush said.
“It’s been steady; nothing major, but steady,” he said.
While electronics and sporting goods continue to sell steadily, local stores have noticed a shift in holiday-specific purchasing.
“We’re seeing a slow-down as far as Christmas decorations,” Kurpil said. “I think most everybody has their trees up. Now, the focus has shifted from ‘trim-a-tree’ to ‘trim-a-package’: bows and boxes and gift wrap, that sort of thing.”
Given an extra shopping weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, shopkeepers said they will still offer special sales to help nudge undecided or last-minute shoppers, but urged customers to buy must-haves soon.
“We get special deals every day,” Sears Assistant Manager Vickie Speakman said. “This year, the (Craftsman) Bolt On tool is the new thing. Customers are really asking for it, but we have just a few left.”
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.