Rush to the Christmas finish

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2003

T’was a few short shopping days until Christmas and all through the town, shoppers busily hustled and bustled, looking for the best gifts around.

One of those stores that people kept busy in this Christmas shopping season was B.C. Moore’s in Gateway Plaza.

According Store Manager Cindi Moore, who is in her first year at the department store, said customers steadily ventured in.

&uot;We have been meeting our expected figures,&uot; she said.

&uot;The crowds have been pretty good since Thanksgiving.&uot;

One thing that now draws more customers into Moore’s is their recent change in store hours.

According to Moore, her store began opening on Sundays back in September.

&uot;The response is great,&uot; she said.

&uot;We will continue to open on Sundays even after Christmas.

Our company decided that for us to remain competitive, we had to begin opening on Sundays.&uot;

She said a decent crowd shopped at Moore’s the Sunday before Christmas.

Moore’s will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, but will reopen again at 9 a.m. Friday morning.

Moore said those needing to make exchanges or returns will find Moore’s is easy to deal with.

&uot;If they can get their hands on the receipt or any tags from the clothing that will speed up the process,&uot; she said.

Across the street at Butler Square Shopping, Goody’s Manager Terry Jordan said his store’s level of shoppers is constant with last year’s.

&uot;We really haven’t seen a big increase and I really don’t want to say it is a better Christmas,&uot; he said.

&uot;We have met what we did last year.

My gut feeling is that we are going to have a tremendous rush at the last minute,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m satisfied with the sales this season.

I would say our sales are a little better than last year.&uot;

Jordan said one of the things he noticed about shoppers this Christmas is that they are looking for very specific items.

&uot;I’m noticing that customers are buying certain things instead of buying across the board,&uot; he said. &uot;Customers seem to be more selective about what they are buying.

There are some things that we have plenty of in stock, while others, we’re completely sold out.&uot;

Goody’s is one of the only businesses in town that extended its weekend hours until midnight.

Jordan said there were good points and bad points about those hours.

&uot;In this market, things get a little slow after 10 p.m.,&uot; he said.

&uot;We’d have two or three customers between 11 p.m. and midnight.

During this time, our associates did a lot of in-store work such as, pulling out new stock and doing price changes.

Those late hours allowed us to eliminate some of the projects from the day.

Goody’s will also close at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve but will open at 6 a.m. on Friday and remain open until 10 p.m.

Jordan said those needing to make returns or exchanges will find a helpful group of customer services representatives.

&uot;We’ll have a full compliment of registers open,&uot; he said.

&uot;We’ll also have customers service reps working with people in waiting in lines to expedite their return or exchange.

Downtown merchants also continued to hear the ring-ring of the cash registers as last minute shoppers filed through.

At The Pineapple, Katrina Scofield said Monday was a bit surprising.

&uot;It has been quite steady all season,&uot; she said.

&uot;Then today (Monday) it has been kind of slow and quiet.&uot;

She said the two days up to Christmas would be better.

&uot;Hopefully, it will be busy and carry us through the year,&uot; she said.

&uot;However, since Thanksgiving, we have had a good customer flow.&uot;

Scofield said one demographic group that always waits until the last minute is men.

&uot;We have a lot of men who hit us on Christmas Eve looking for a special gift,&uot; she said.

&uot;We really look forward to our men shoppers each Christmas.&uot;