The days following Thanksgiving are traditionally known for holiday shopping — and area retailers are expecting no different this year.
Store owners and retail managers are gearing up for the holiday rush by slashing prices on certain merchandise and having additional personnel on hand to handle the extra flow of customers.
“It’s good now, but I’m thinking from now until Christmas it’s going to get a whole lot busier which will be good for us,” said Robert Encinias, owner of Robert’s Television and Appliance in Portales.
Sharon Davis, owner of Calton furniture in Portales, said she’s gearing up for the weekend by offering sales on lazy boys.
“We really expect to have a good holiday,” Davis said.
This year 24 Portales businesses have teamed up with local banks to provide no-interest loans for Christmas shoppers.
The program is called Christmas Cash, and people can borrow money in the form of certificates from banks only to purchase items at the 24 local businesses.
Last year the program generated roughly $175,000 in sales, according to Pat Willis, manager of the Portales/Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.
“The Christmas Cash (Program) is going real well,” Willis said. “We’re having quite a few redemptions there. All of that shopping is done here in Portales.”
About 20 miles north, managers at some of Clovis’ largest and newest stores said Wednesday they are ready for the expected post-Thanksgiving shopping rush.
Mike Duguid, store manager of 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 on Friday.
“We will be selling a lot of power tools, Christmas items and decorations and general handyman type tools,” Duguid said.
Hastings, which began selling books, music, and videos last week, will be opening 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 (Hastings officials) 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.
Irene Flink, the operations manager at Dillard’s, said her store will also be opening early on Friday — 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. instead of the normal 10 a.m. opening.
“We have continuous sales throughout the day and special ones during the day,” Flink said. “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.