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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Weekend sales show trends

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Assistant Manager Devin Kinder straightens the shelves at KB Toys.
SIKESTON -- As retailers recovered this week from the weekend kickoff of the holiday season, many admitted they were able to get a feel of what their customers are after this Christmas.

"Monogramming is huge," said Megan Graham, assistant manager for Goody's in Sikeston.

Graham said monogramming is mostly available on clothes, such as the corners of a shirt and hips of sweatpants, but it's also popular on purses.

Other hot fashion items include velour active sets, corduroy and knee-length boots with a round toe are hot with women, Graham said.

"The worn denim look is really popular right now for both men and women. " Graham said. "And Orange County Choppers T-shirts like the ones seen on Discovery Channel's American Choppers series are well liked by men."

According to the National Retail Federation, 71.8 percent of consumers were out shopping on "Black Friday" weekend. The top gifts purchased included books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games (39.3 percent); clothing or clothing accessories (35.6 percent); toys (31.6 percent); and home decor or home-related furnishings (20.5 percent).

According to KB Toys officials, the fashion-forward Bratz dolls and the highly publicized George W. Bush Elite Force Aviator figure are this season's highlight toys. Hokey Pokey Elmo, LeapPad Plus Writing Learning System, Game Boy Advance SP and VideoNow are other child favorites this year, KB Toys reports.

Remote control anything is really big this year, said Sikeston Wal-Mart manager James Miller. For girls, Bratz dolls are doing well, too, he said, adding that everything in the toy department always does well. Superheros like Hulk and Spiderman are also hits, he said.

But the biggest category is electronics like DVDs, home theater systems, Miller said. It's the bigger TVs -- 31 inches and up that people are getting, he explained.

"The economy is a lot better than last season, and we have one more day between Christmas and Thanksgiving this year than we did last so hopefully we'll have a bigger season than last," Miller said.

This year one in four consumers plans to purchase electronics or computer-related accessories as holiday gifts, the NRF reports.

Marc Edwards, manager of the Office Max in Sikeston, said Office Max definitely noticed the trend.

"Our company had the biggest sales day in our 15-year history Friday," noted Edwards about the weekend. "We were busy here right when we opened."

Edwards said the record sales are the result of better specials and better supplies as well as a lot more advertising by the store this year than in previous years. "From our standpoint, our biggest items are digital cameras, personal digital assistance scanners/printers and cordless phones that have one, two, three and four-line phone systems," Edwards said, adding that jump drives are also hot items this season.

Jackie Mygatt, manager of Welcome Home, a home decor store at the Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores, said while Black Friday wasn't a particularly big day in sales for the store, the days leading up to Thanksgiving were.

"Sales were not what we expected them to be," Mygatt said with disappointment.

Normally, holiday decor like hopping Santas and singing Santas go over big with customers, but this year, Mygatt said that wasn't the case.

However, while there weren't any "hot sellers," Welcome Home did sell tons of lamps and in all different types, especially those in bead work and feathers, Mygatt pointed out.

Employees with Slushers Farm and Home said Carhartt jackets, bibs and jeans are sought-after items and added that women, too, are purchasing the jackets. Pick-up truck accessories and insulated boots are also being purchased by farmers. Most retailers admitted this Thanksgiving weekend was better than last year, but they also know it's just a warm-up for what lies ahead in weeks to come.

Both Miller and Graham admitted the Saturday before Christmas, which is Dec. 20, is always the biggest day for stores.

"It's just as busy if not more busy than the day after Thanksgiving," Graham said with surety. "There's a lot of last-minute shoppers."