While some downtown retailers opted to close down in the days following Christmas, others were open over the weekend, offering sales and a chance for customers to spend their monetary Christmas gifts.
On Saturday, Jewel Richmeier, along with Melanie Nevills, two of the owners of The Corner on Main, along with Richmeier’s daughter, Hannah Richmeier, and nephew, Aaron Schafer, counted inventory.
“We closed until the first of the year so we can spend time with family and do inventory,” Richmeier said, as Hannah and Nevills worked together counting items at the front of the store. “Everybody has a laptop, and we work in pairs. So she says what the item is, as she types it.”
To entice her nephew to help with inventory, Richmeier promised to make a stop on the way into the store Saturday morning.
“I begged him to come help me, and the first thing he said when he got in the car this morning was ‘We’re going to McDonald’s right,’” Richmeier said, and then laughed.
She said they experienced good sales prior to Christmas, one of her favorite times of the year at the store.
“I love this time of year because a lot of out-of-town customers we don’t normally see come in and visit with us. And families come — children, siblings, people who haven’t been here all year, come in, so that part is really fun, too,” Richmeier said.
The Corner on Main is filled with home decor, knick knacks and Christmas decorations, which she said will be rearranged prior to the store’s reopening on Friday.
“We’ll have the Christmas merchandise in a general area, and it will all be half price,” Richmeier said.
Just up the street at Prick the Skin Body Piercing and Tattoo, tattoo artist Bruce Quinones was filling some appointments Saturday, when he received a call from a brother and sister from Sublette wanting to come get tattoos together.
A lot of our after-Christmas business is family who comes to town for the holidays, like a brother and sister, and are like, ‘Let’s go get tattooed together. Let’s go get matching tattoos,’” Quinones said.
He said that tattoos are actually a popular gift item for Christmas.
“I think it’s an awesome gift. A lot of people will buy gifts like a pair of shoes. I know a pair of shoes will only last me about six months, but a tattoo is forever. It’s there for life,” Quinones said.
Oftentimes, he said, prior to Christmas, people will either come along to pay for a loved one’s tattoo or piercing or purchase a gift certificate.
Following Christmas, Quinones said, is when business really picks up.
“And then after the holidays, it’s tax season,” he said.
Brian Rupp, owner of The Good Sport, said that on Friday, his biggest selling item was shoes, which were on sale after Christmas.
“A lot of people have Christmas money, so that’s why we find it good to have shoes on sale. They can come pick out what they want,” Rupp said, adding that they also had Nike apparel on sale.
He said with the cold weather, people who came into the store were there to buy something particular.
Following Christmas, Rupp said his store was offering 20 to 50 percent off some items, but also plans a sale in January.
“We always have a big January clearance sale,” he said, adding that prior to that, he would be working on inventory himself.
George Wharton, owner of Wharton’s for Every Bloomin’ Thing, is offering sales on Christmas decor and previously marked down items after Christmas.
“We’ll be taking an additional 20 percent off of items that were previously marked down, so customers could save up to 80 percent or so,” Wharton said.
Typically, January is one of the slowest months at the store, he said.
“Every business has their own season, when it slows down,” Wharton said. “But we’ll start picking up again In February, around Valentine’s Day, when people are ordering flowers,” Wharton said. “And then it softens a little bit, but when we hit March and it’s gardening weather again, we’ll be back to the busy time.”
He said that in the days following Christmas, he sees many people continuing to purchase Christmas gifts.
“Because people travel so much, we’ll sell a tremendous amount of Christmas gifts because some people aren’t celebrating Christmas until the weekend,” Wharton said. “We’re doing a lot of Christmas wrapping here for people who are having their Christmas Saturday or Sunday.”