Some shoppers who hit area stores on the day after Christmas already had next year’s Yuletide in mind.
Susan Combee, an area native who lives in Richmond, came home to visit her mother. She stopped by Liberty Fair Mall on Thursday to find out what stores were offering in post-Christmas sales.
Country Impressions, an arts and crafts kiosk, had reduced the prices on all of its merchandise by 50 percent. Combee bought a holiday-themed wreath to use next Christmas.
Because the wreath has a snowman on it, she can use it for the rest of this winter, too, she decided.
Combee said that when she visits Martinsville, she likes to shop at the mall and area stores to help support them. After buying the wreath, she said she was “good to go.”
Chastity Tolbert of Bassett also went by the mall on Thursday. She said she was looking for bargains “among the stores that are (still) here,” but she was not looking for anything in particular.
Around midday, the mall was moderately busy. Yet most of the people who were walking the corridor were carrying few, if any, shopping bags.
Doug Carter, who works at the arts and crafts kiosk, said business started off slow on Thursday but picked up as the day progressed.
Parking lots at Walmart and Kmart were roughly half full. At both stores, there were vacant spaces near the front entrances.
But in Kmart, “We’ve had quite a few people in here shopping,” said Store Manager Jeff George.
Customers seemed to make a beeline for holiday decorations, the prices of which had been cut in half, he said.
Debbie Hall’s shopping cart was full of storage bins and bags that were on sale. She said they will be useful for the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society, of which she is executive director.
Hall said she noticed at Kmart a lot of merchandise priced either 50 percent off or “buy one, get one free.”
“It’s a great opportunity to get some good buys,” she said.
George summed up Kmart’s overall sales for the Christmas season as being “fair.”
Roses’ Christmas season went “really well,” said Store Manager Lee Ann Hundley.
“Our toys were wiped out,” she said, and in the clothing department, “we have a lot of empty racks.”
On Thursday, “we had a steady flow of people” in the store, Hundley said.
So did Martinsville’s newest major retailer, Marshalls, said Store Manager Sara Thomas. The off-price department store, which opened at the mall in October, had launched a clearance sale on items throughout the store, she said.
Christmas season sales at Marshalls exceeded the company’s expectations, so “we’re really happy” with the new store’s performance, Thomas said.
Department store managers said their stores were seeing few returns of merchandise, or at least no more than they see on regular shopping days.