Palestine may not have the stores or crowds of a metropolis, but that doesn’t mean the locals couldn't cash in on some after-Christmas bargains.
A handful of residents set out to do just that on Thursday. While some ventured into stores out of curiosity, others had a specific prize in their sights.
Derrilyn Anderson was a member of both groups. From the parking lot, it looked like the Palestine resident was preparing for the king of pillow fights, piling pillow after fluffy pillow into her car. She had headed to Palestine's JCPenney Thursday morning to cash in on a doorbuster deal for the cushiony home necessities.
“I knew I wanted the pillows, so I got the pillows,” Anderson said. “I got me four, and I got four for my sister and four for my grandson.”
But she also chose to step in some stores with curiosity—“just looking, browsing, seeing what they had on sale.”
“They've been running some good sales. I stop in here regular,” she said, noting she'd probably head to Beall's department store next.
At Bealls, the after-Christmas sales made perfect timing for local resident Lee Brown.
“Our granddaughter's not coming in until the 29th,” she said, explaining that the Brown family would be celebrating the holiday a little later this year. “And I work, so I hadn't gotten everything done, so that's why I'm shopping the after-Christmas sales.”
Brown said she was looking for a watch, or perhaps a new set of pajamas for her granddaughter's Christmas present. After all, everyone knows that shopping for a pre-teen can present challenges all its own.
“She's 12 going on 20,” Brown said with a laugh. “We pick her up Sunday.”
To lure shoppers back through the doors, stores are advertising deep post-Christmas discounts at as much as 50, 60 and 75 percent off. This also is prime time for people to use the gift cards they got for Christmas.
Walmart is offering thousands of items 25 to 50 percent off sticker price, according to a Herald-Press circular distributed in Thursday's edition, including a Nintendo 3DS XL System for $199.96 that includes a $50 Walmart gift card with purchase.
And JCPenney is offering customers coupons for $10 off purchases of $25 of more, which can be printed from its website and are good through Dec. 28.
Across the country, the National Retail Federation expects 2013 holiday sales — which includes months November and December — to clock in at an increase of 3.9 percent. That’s $602.1 billion in money terms, higher than the 10-year 3.3 percent average.