SIKESTON - Shoppers may be out in full force today,
but with extra manpower and plenty of merchandise,
businesses are ready for them.
Their first Christmas to be open in Sikeston, Lowe's
called in all its forces to work on what they are
referring to as "Super Friday." "We're open our normal
hours today, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and everyone not on
vacation will be working today," noted Tyler Russom,
store manager. "We're having no freight come in and
we'll all be on the floor to help our customers."
Russom revealed that the biggest value of the day is
on batteries. Buy one, get one free, except those for
"It's been pretty crazy around here this morning,
especially early this morning. We've got some great
specials today only. We tried to spread out the
specials so everyone would find something, including
tool items which normally sell for $30-$40. A corded
drill, for instance, is on sale for $19.83. People are
really coming in for those tools. We had 67 circular
saws and in 30 to 45 minutes we sold out. There are
still a lot of people in here, but now they're mostly
doing their normal Christmas shopping. I enjoy it,
this is my favorite day to work."
JC Penney opened at 7 a.m. today and won't close its
doors until 9 p.m. Mike Burchett, store manager,
pointed out customers saw probably some of the best
values during the door buster specials from 7 a.m. to
noon when there were items off an extra 10 percent.
"Our first hour was super, people were lined up at the
door," Burchett said this early today. "Actually,
there were a little more than usual. We're tracking
ahead of last year. We've done everything to prepare
for today," said Burchett. "We've received
merchandise, added extra tables with specials and put
extra stock in every department. We're looking forward
to giving our customers the best they can get
anywhere, not just in Sikeston, but other outlying
areas. We can compete with anyone."
The early bird gets the worm - or the porcelain
ornament, in the case of those who enter Goody's
today. Opening at 6 a.m., Goody's customers received
the free ornament while supplies last and on it is a
sticker that is worth anywhere from 10-50 percent off
the total merchandise purchased. After the ornaments
are gone, said store manager Zelma Lutes, customers
had the opportunity to receive a scratch off card
revealing 10-50 percent off the total purchase.
And according to employees, the morning got off to a
good start with customers lined up on both sides of
the doors. One store manager described the morning as
both impressive and having "extremely busy sales." "We've done a lot of teamwork to get ready for today,"
Lutes said. "We've been working on it for two weeks
and it's taken every bit of that time. We've done a
lot of recovery, remerchandising our racks and double
stacking to make sure we are ready for the big day.
We'll have a full staff to make sure we meet our
customers' needs. It's going to be a great day and we
want to make sure it's exceptional for our customers."
The Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores are open from 8
a.m. to 9 p.m. and many will feature early bird
specials until 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. "We had shoppers on
the parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and people are already
hauling off bags. All of our employees are really
excited about today," Lisa Neumeyer, manager, reported
"Once we started putting up our Christmas decorations
I think everyone really started getting into the
Christmas spirit. It's a big day, people come out in
droves. Going shopping the day after Thanksgiving is
tradition more than anything. I think people wait
until the day after Thanksgiving and get that holiday
out of the way and then they really get serious about
Employees also enjoy a good buy and many wait until
this time of year to make their purchases because of
the sales. JC Penney employees, for instance, are
given opportunities to shop on special occasions.
And Lowe's employees take advantage of special buys,
themselves. "I'm waiting to buy several packs of
batteries myself, that's a really good deal," Russom
said. "You get up to five free packs so there's 10
packs of batteries right there."
Goody's associates were given a special sneak preview
of the sales their store is having on Wednesday night
when they could obtain items for 30 percent off. "It's
just an extra advantage for our associates," said
Lutes. "Our employees will be working all weekend
while everyone else will be taking advantage of all
the good sales so this is what we wanted to do for our
"It's going to be hard to have to come into the office
and work when I know where all the specials are out
here," joked Neumeyer.
Most stores aren't anticipating being affected by the
recent terrorist attacks. In fact, Burchett said he's
added more help than last year in preparation for a
big turnout. "I've added 10-15 percent more. I think
we'll have a good weekend, it hasn't been apparent yet
to us that this Christmas season will be slower than
usual. I'm sure some people have been affected, but
we're ahead of last year."
"We really aren't seeing that either, a lot of our
stores are seeing sales better than last year," added
Neumeyer. "I don't think people are tightening up
their wallets like it was believed they might do. As
we worry about all that's going on, I think people
want to do these things and really make this Christmas
extra special this year. It's about giving and I think
under the circumstances, people are wanting to give
more than ever."