Cathy Gowing arranges newly arrived Poinsettias on Wednesday at United Supermarkets in Muleshoe. A general merchandise manager, Gowing said the store receives shipments of the traditional holiday plant about once a week. CNJ staff photo: Rick White.
By Darrell Todd Maurina
Personnel at several of Clovis stores said they are ready for the expected post-Thanksgiving shopping rush on Friday.
Mike Duguid, store manager of the newly opened Lowe’s, said his store is bringing in extra staff from other regional stores to staff the holiday weekend at a store that just opened last Friday. The store will maintain its standard hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday for the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
“We will be selling a lot of power tools, Christmas items and decorations and general handyman type tools,” Duguid said. “That’s usually our big push — tools, Christmas items, and present items, also storage items such as Rubbermaid products.”
Duguid, who recently relocated from Cincinnati to run the Clovis store, said he will be buying a number of items from Lowe’s to help redecorate his new house, but hasn’t yet done any of his own holiday shopping.
“We’re in the process of unpacking and as we get unpacked we realize there are things we need to take care of,” Duguid said. “I do plan to buy home improvement items that we will be utilizing and some things that are children-related, some of the books and things we have here for kids.”
At Joe’s Boot Shop, owners Joe and Darla Rhodes have brought in lots of stock and discounted prices in preparation for the big shopping day. Instead of opening early, Joe Rhodes said, “we will start at 9 a.m. and go all the way to midnight.”
The store usually closes at 6 p.m., but since other stores will be opening early, Joe’s decided to stay open late, he said.
Hastings, which opened last week to sell books, music, and videos, will open an hour early on Friday — 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. instead of the normal 9 a.m. opening time. Store leader Dena Engel said the store will also hold a special sale from 8 a.m. to noon for early bird shoppers.
“We have a lot of really cool stuff on sale; every year they send us some stuff we don’t normally have, just for this sale,” Engel said. “We have a lot of kid stuff, toys and video box sets.”
“I’ll probably do a lot of my shopping at Hastings, but I have done none of my holiday shopping yet,” Engel said.
The operations manager at Dillard’s said her store will also open early on Friday — 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. instead of the normal 10 a.m. opening.
“We have continuous sales throughout the day and special ones during the day,” said Irene Flink. “We have some great gift items at different price points, holiday apparel, and we have lots of good door busters, specials that go on for a limited time from 7 to 11 only.”
Flink said her store requires all employees to work Friday due to the heavy customer traffic, and spent much of Wednesday getting ready for the expected traffic.
“Right now we are just working to get everything set up to be ready for the customers,” Flink said.
Flink won’t be among those early bird shoppers, however. She said working at Dillard’s gives her an advantage for last-minute shopping.
“Yes, Dillard’s is the main place I do my shopping, and because of that I can shop on Christmas Eve like I always do,” Flink said.
Bruce Gray, owner of Roden-Smith, said the gift store “looks as nice as it’s ever looked. We’re full, packed, and have things that no one else in town has.”
The store will open at its usual time of 9 a.m., he said. “Enough places are opening early. I figure people are going to chase giveaways for a couple of hours, then settle down and wait until 9 a.m.”
While the day after Thanksgiving is a good business day, it usually isn’t the best time for Roden-Smith. “We’re in the last-minute business. We offer gift wrapping. We will be our busiest probably the Saturday before Christmas.”
Like the others, Gray has not done his holiday shopping yet — but then he and his family do the holidays somewhat differently. “I have grandkids, and I let their parents help us pick presents and we get them so they will go under the tree. We don’t have a gift-opening. Instead, we plan to spend few days together as a family after school is out, and spend the money on that.”