Retail Holiday Sales Stay Steady For Most

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Always looking for a bargain, Jackie Boldman shuffles through the shoe rack at Stage department store during an early morning shopping session on Black Friday, Nov. 28. Sales in Payson held steady a number of retailers said, while nationally, sales increased when compared to a year ago.

It was a busy holiday weekend for Rim Country stores with early bird sales and bargain-hunting shoppers.

With the lull in the economy, some stores in Payson experienced lower sales numbers, while others reported comparable sales to last year.

Sears manager Shonda Beach said the holiday weekend was great, but the number of shoppers was down slightly from last year.

“There were a lot of customers and we were staffed and ready to go,” Beach said.

“But sales were down a little.”

Next door to Sears, Stage reported comparable sales to 2007, but more shoppers than last year.

“We were doing great during Black Friday,” said Stage manager, Lea Wridings.

Chrisy’s Cottage at 718 N. Beeline Highway reported higher Friday sales from last year. Owner Chrisy Wickstrom said although business was better Friday, Saturday was not as profitable as a year ago.

“Last year, husbands came back on Saturday and Sunday to buy things their wives had picked out on Friday,” Wickstrom said, “we didn’t see that this year.”

Sears and Stage, like other major retailers, offered door-buster sales with items marked off 50 percent or more.

“We had half-price laundry machines and tools,” Beach said. “We sold lots of washers and big-ticket items. When we opened at 5 a.m., we had people waiting outside to get in.”

Wridings said Stage buyers were snatching up discounted jewelry and items that are more expensive.

“People were spending $200 to $300,” Wridings said.

Sears and Chrisy’s Cottage are offering sales though the Christmas holidays to lure in more shoppers.

Western Village, an independently owned antique, jewelry and collectibles shop at 1104 S. Beeline Highway saw a steady stream of visitors Black Friday and throughout the weekend.

General manager Abbie Catlin said she noticed customers were buying smaller items.

“We still had people buying furniture who were furnishing their homes, but we also had shoppers buying more small things,” Catlin said.

Wickstrom also reported shoppers buying smaller, less expensive items.

The shop saw visitors trickle in starting around 10 a.m., after hitting up stores offering early morning sales.

Western Village did not offer any sales because Catlin said prices are already reasonable.

“People get a lot of bang for their buck,” she said.

Western Village is at the south entrance of Payson and attracts visitors with its cowboy-themed entrance, carved bears and woodwork and cowboy boots on the roof.

“We are at the entrance to Payson and we hope to generate a good feeling for visitors who will move on to other antique shops in town, because we have so many good shops,” Catlin said.

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