Holiday Shopping Boosts Region 8 Economy

November 29, 2004 – Posted at 6:45 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- Now that the first holiday shopping weekend is in the bag, local retailers are looking back to see how much green they pulled in. Shoppers all around the country poured into retail stores at the crack of dawn this past weekend. Region 8 retailers got the same action.

"They stated lining up about a quarter after five Friday morning," said K-Mart Store Manager Sue Edwards.

Early birds didn't sleep on pre-dawn sales.

"Sales were really good this weekend I don't think we're hurting to bad. I think everybody is getting in the holiday spirit," said Edwards.

K-Mart shoppers made a mad dash for high-ticket items.

"We sold a lot of DVD's, TV's, Game Boys all that kind of merchandise," said Edwards, "We've been running a lot of the one day only specials, so we usually have a line when we open in the morning."

And it's that kind of purchase power that points to a strong local economy. Shoppers are even finding time to shop during the week. While K-Mart was hopping all weekend, a smaller retailer across town wasn't having such luck.

Lisa Davis, manager of Enhancements said, "The day after Thanksgiving really isn't a good day for small family businesses. That's because all the shoppers are at the bigger retailers or at the mall."

It's a trend Enhancements has seen for the past 25 years. But they don't mind sharing shoppers because in the afternoon when they're leaving the mall, they'll usually stop by but then on Saturday.

"We had a good day," said Davis.

But it wasn't necessarily because people were Christmas shopping.

"Most people were still buying for themselves," laughed Davis, "They would have us put back things and say I'll come back Monday."

So as Christmas nears their sales are sure to pick up.

"We really feel exited this year than I think any other year we've had," said Davis.

Dillard's in Jonesboro tells K8 news that it had a very strong Thanksgiving weekend.