So far, the 2007 “shopping” season is going great.
Several local retail store managers said that almost across the board this year’s weekend after Thanksgiving sales were much better and traffic was higher than for the same weekend in 2006.
“We had a phenomenal weekend,” said Charlotte Parrack, the business manager for Heartland Mall. Though final sales figures were not all in by Monday afternoon, Parrack said every mall store’s numbers were up “significantly.”
Laura Booher, a sales associate at Miller’s Christmas Store, said business was brisk both Friday and Saturday at their store and she said there seemed to be a fairly even mix between shoppers who were visiting the area and shoppers who were residents of the area.
“We had people in from California and from Del Rio — pretty far away — but we had people from here who are regular customers,” Booher said.
The store’s stock of Christmas trees had almost been depleted over the holiday, Booher said, and in fact, store owner Ann Noble had gone to replenish the stock.
Both Weakley-Watson stores had a “good” Friday, but the Saturday shopping was slow.
“I blame it on the weather,” said Mike Blagg. “Friday it was cold but not wet, and people got out, Saturday they were staying in out of the weather.”
At the Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods store in downtown Brownwood, customers were interested in the new lines of athletic products the store is starting to carry, and as typical for this time of year, hunting supplies, Blagg said.
At the hardware store, Blagg said tools and kitchen appliances seemed to be the most sought after items.
“Oh, and drain cleaner,” Blagg said. “The Friday after Thanksgiving we always sell a lot of drain cleaner.”
Goodie’s manager Melissa Mullins said that store’s day-after-Thanksgiving sales were also great.
“It was wild and crazy, but so much better than last year,” Mullins said.
“I’d say we had the right weather, and being prepared. We had some great prices. I’m definitely seeing this as a good start to a great season.”
Staples also enjoyed a good start for the season. Manager Aaron Diaz said the store had only been open a week last year at the start of the holiday shopping season. This year, Diaz said, it had been busier with more sales.
“We’re very pleased with how things have started out,” Diaz said.
Parrack said the “traffic” count at Heartland Mall showed in excess of 2,000 more people out shopping than for the same weekend last year.
“I personally visited with several people from the Metroplex, Houston and Corpus Christi, whose husbands were here hunting and they were so excited to be here,” Parrack said. “One woman told me that the lines in Houston were so bad on this weekend that she would not even attempt to go shopping, but she was having a very pleasant shopping experience at Heartland because she could find what she wanted, not stand in long lines and the people were so very nice.”