While retailers in parts of the United States may have seen a lower number of shoppers in their businesses, it would have been hard to tell that in Sampson County on Christmas Eve. Stores were crowded and parking spaces were limited as large crowds of shoppers took advantage of the last day to complete their Christmas shopping.
Most all retailers contacted noted their pleasure at sales over the holiday shopping period, which began after Thanksgiving and culminated with the last-minute rush on Monday.
Patsy Waters of Butler’s Gifts said she was well pleased with her store’s holiday shopping season.
“We are very excited. We were a bit concerned at first but the last three or four weeks have been great,” Waters noted. “Not only did we have high numbers of shoppers, everyone who entered the store seemed to be enjoying the experience and expressing their enjoyment with the staff and with others that were in the shop. We are very pleased. We were a little uncertain but then all of a sudden the customers appeared to make our Christmas very merry,” remarked Waters.
Burke’s Outlet also saw high numbers in foot traffic for the holiday shopping season. Store manager Audretta Hall stated that business was totally awesome.
“It think because we have such great low prices and people have been serious about comparison shopping this year, we have seen a lot of customers in the store and not only looking but buying. We are very appreciative to all the customers who have visited us and found what they were looking at our store. Hopefully others will come after Christmas when we will have some items discounted from 70 to 95 percent,” stressed Hall.
For Matthews Cards and Gifts, the story was much the same. The store was full of shoppers on Christmas Eve and store manager Joyce Owen stated that even Sunday had been an extremely busy day.
“Business has been very good, and by the traffic that has been in this year we have seen a difference in the manner in which people shopped. They seemed to take more time to find exactly what they were looking and looking for quality and value. They were conservative but yet were eager to make purchases to remember the people they love,” expressed Owen.
The only exception to the positive shopping view was at Belk in Sampson Crossing, where buying seemed to hit a lull early. Store manager Kim White said holiday buying in her store had been off.
“The Christmas shopping season has been a little soft for us. It did not meet our expectations. I feel that many of our shoppers traveled to the bigger stores. They truly need to keep us, the little guys, in mind and shop local. Hopefully our after Christmas clearance sales will bring in more foot traffic and help us to overcome the lack luster before Christmas sales,” asserted White.
Walmart store manager Jennifer Slack was very pleased at how her store had done over the holiday season.
“Our business has been very good. In fact the last couple of weeks have been fantastic. I think the our .com business has increased the number of people coming into the store as they have ordered items online and came to pick their purchases up. We have seen that much of the foot traffic for those shoppers also resulted in in-store purchases also. We could not be more pleased with the holiday shopping this year. I think the final totals will be better than last’s year. We thank our customers fro remaining loyal to their Clinton Walmart,” cited Slack.