CRESTVIEW — With Cyber Monday on Nov. 26 and Black Friday in the past, the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Local retailers have hired extra help to deal with increased numbers of shoppers, anticipating and hoping for blowout business.
Sabrina Hare, store manager of Bealls Outlet Store, hired four employees for seasonal help. However, after seeing how well they have worked out, Hare wants them to stay after the holidays.
"We have a great staff here, so it will be nice to have some help on hand, to help everyone (in our store) relax." Hare said.
Hare said she expects this holiday season to bring in more sales.
"Sales have been trending up so far and corporate seems to think we will do better than last year," she said.
Barbara Morris hopes her business, Old Time Antiques & Flea Market, will fare just as well.
"Last year, we had our best Christmas. I hope this year will be better," Morris said. "We have had a lot people move to the area recently, thanks to the military groups like the 7th Special Forces."
Though retailers prepared specifically for an uptick in November and December foot traffic, some consumers — like Jeanette Johnson of Baker — work on their holiday shopping all year long.
"I think I got started (Christmas) shopping around October of this year," Johnson said, adding she buys gifts for each member in her family, including eight grandchildren and one great grandchild and close friends.
Even with a long shopping list, Black Friday bargains were not enticing enough to draw Johnson out to shop.
"It's just too crowded for me," she said. "When I shop, I like to take my time and look around."
Joyce and James King of DeFuniak Springs were buying presents for 11 grandchildren.
"We are still waiting on some of our grandchildren to give us their Christmas wish list, but some have already given us some ideas, like certain video games they want," Joyce King said.
"We have got started, but we still have a ways to go," James King said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.