The gifts continued to arrive in the form of after Christmas bargains, especially for area shoppers who were brave enough to venture out early Saturday morning to restock their supplies of wrapping paper, holiday decorations, clothing and other merchandise discounted for the end of the season sales.
For both national and local retailers who spoke to the Democrat, 2015 was an overall good year.
“Even though it’s been a little slow this morning we’ve had a really busy holiday season and overall year,” Ryan Cason, head cashier at Menards said early Saturday morning. “We had a lot of customers in the store late on Christmas Eve looking for last minute gifts and bargains and this has honestly been one of the better holiday seasons that we’ve had at the store.”
The store opened its doors for shoppers at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning and has been open in Sedalia for five years.
Shortly after 7 a.m., the store had several customers but Cason thought many customers were choosing to stay inside with their families before heading out later in the day to shop.
“Almost all of our Christmas merchandise is 50 percent off but we do have a few items that aren’t marked down,” Cason added. “We really have been pleased with the holiday season.”
Another national retailer that has been very pleased with the support of Sedalia shoppers and those from surrounding areas is Kohl’s, according to assistant store manager Justin Hubbs.
“We opened our store in Sedalia only a few months ago and the response has been incredible from Sedalia and surrounding communities,” Hubbs said Saturday morning.
The store had marked down most of their Christmas items 70 percent and there were other items throughout the store for shoppers from Sedalia and surrounding communities including Knob Noster and Marshall.
Wendy Palmo from Knob Noster was shopping for Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations with her daughters Rachel Palmo and Stephanie Canada.
“We came to get the bargains,” Palmo said. “We saw their advertisements and we wanted to come early.
“This beats going to the city where we would have to fight the traffic and the crowds,” she added.
Kay Wettlaufer and her daughter Holly Wettlaufer were also from out of town, traveling from Marshall, but decided to come to Sedalia to go to several stores once they arrived in Sedalia.
“We’ve shopped here at Kohl’s before and we really like the store,” Holly Wettlaufer said. “It makes a difference when you feel comfortable with the store and their merchandise.”
The Sobaski family of Sedalia was also out before eight looking for savings but not necessarily on Christmas items.
With their daughter, Olivia Sobaski, heading for college this fall, the Sacred Heart senior and her parents Steve and Julie Sobaski were looking for items for her dorm room next year.
“We’ve already been at Penney’s this morning and so far things have been really calm and good,” Steve Sobaski said. “We’ve found really good savings on towels for Olivia’s dorm room here and thought today may be a good day to start to look for when she goes to college next year.”
One local retailer also saw good holiday sales as well as a good year overall.
Kimi Arnold, owner of Sisters and Co. said that her store had experienced a very good day after Christmas and 2015 was a success.
“It’s really been a good day in spite of the rain, Arnold said Saturday afternoon. “We’ve had very few returns and we’ve been grateful for the business we’ve had so far today.
“Our year has been really good too,” Arnold added. “This is our second year in business and our sales are probably up 31 percent from last year.”
All Christmas items at the store had been reduced to half price.
Arnold said that unlike national retailers, it is sometimes difficult for independent stores to succeed because they cannot buy in the volume that national retailers can.
“Sometimes we are limited because we can’t carry the volume that other stores do,” Arnold said. “But I think that very thing helps sets us and other small local shops apart; we are unique and you know when you purchase something here not everyone else will have that item since we carry a limited stock of items,”
Arnold said she and Sally Lockett travel to several markets throughout the first months of the year looking for one of a kind, unique items for their customers.
“We sell probably an even split on home décor and clothing so we always try to have a good balance and mix for our customers,” Arnold said. “Our customers are coming from a lot of areas to shop with us because they know whatever we carry they won’t be able to find at other stores.
“We’re just really, really grateful for our customers from Sedalia and all the area towns for their support during the Christmas season and year- long as well,” Arnold added.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484