12/01/04 — Retailers see strong sales for holidays

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Retailers see strong sales for holidays

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on December 1, 2004 2:00 PM

Goldsboro retailers say they are still seeing strong sales even after the holiday rush on Friday.

Chad Deselms, manager on duty at the Target at 1204 Sunburst Drive, said there was a slight increase in sales over last year for the day after Thanksgiving and sales have been increasing steadily every day since then compared to last year.

He attributes the increase to a variety of specials and people getting their Christmas shopping out of the way instead of waiting untilthe last minute. The store has added some seasonal employees and its hours are extended one hour to 11 p.m. and two hours on Sunday to 11 p.m.

He said the electronics and toy departments make up about 30 percent of the sales, which is typical, and he expects sales to continue to increase daily, especially on the weekends.

Sam Jernigan, owner of Jernigan Furniture Inc. at 2101 E. Ash St., said they were "absolutely slammed" on Friday as people were waiting at the door that morning. They were surprised at the turnout because historically the day after Thanksgiving is a big mall day or large days for stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears. He said a lot of people were looking for entertainment centers, plasma TVs, home theaters, lamps and mirrors.

Belk Department Store in Berkeley Mall had the biggest day after Thanksgiving it has ever had in Goldsboro, according to Turner Wood, store manager.

It opened 30 minutes early at 5:30 a.m. and exceeded sales by about 5 percent over last year. He said cosmetics, holiday sweaters, sleepwear and luggage have been selling well.

He said traffic continued on Friday until mid-afternoon and was a little slower over the weekend. It picked up Monday and Tuesday. Wood said they are optimistic about December because they have a lot of values for customers throughout the month.

Melissa Best, assistant manager of Sportsman's World at 2001-B E. Ash St., said they were open regular hours on Friday and sales were up from last year. They had steady traffic the whole day and on Saturday morning, but sales were minimal on Sunday.

She said it was the first Sunday they were open this season, but they will be open on Sundays now that the holiday hours are in place. Business picked back up Monday, and they have had to restock some sweats and T-shirts.

JCPenney Co. in Berkeley Mall also had good sales early on Friday, but they declined that afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, said Sam Kearney, supervisor.

"It was not up to our expectations; the weather and other intangibles can impact sales," he said.

They rebounded on Monday and are planning for a large crowd this weekend because of another big sale. Kearney said the goal is to spread the sale events over the holiday. They have hired some temporary help for the season and have been restocking some items.