Sonia Lamia, of Carthage, had one goal in mind as she hit the stores Wednesday.
“I am shopping for Christmas decoration deals,” she said as she left Hobby Lobby in Joplin with several rolls of wrapping paper poking out of her shopping cart.
For Allison Shinkle, the day after Christmas is a time to stock up on discounted items that she can use in her business during the next major holiday.
“We always do this because I have a flower shop, and I’m always looking for versatile things for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “We close the shop (on Dec. 26) and go to market.”
Shinkle, of El Dorado Springs, left Hobby Lobby with bags of ribbon, tissue paper, and red and pink trinkets. She said she already had visited Wal-Mart, and she still planned to shop at Lowe’s, Target and Sam’s Club before returning home.
The day after Thanksgiving may be Black Friday for many retailers, but the day after Christmas is proving to be critical for them, too. Call it Gray Wednesday.
Just 10 minutes after Hobby Lobby opened Wednesday morning, the store was packed, said store manager Donnie Pearce.
“We get run over with people buying after the holidays. It’s clearance time,” he said. “It’s a one-day shot to get (discounted items), and then it’s back to normal.”
Pearce said this Christmas season has been typical, though sales were not as strong as last year’s.
“Last year, we had a phenomenal increase because people were rebuying” after the May 2011 tornado, he said. “This year was more normal.”
At the Target store in Joplin, around 50 people waited for the doors to open Wednesday morning, said Natalie Beachner, a manager. She said many of those shoppers were seeking discounted seasonal items as well as toys that were marked up to 50 percent off.
Beachner said the shopping season went “very well” this year, although it has been difficult for the store to compare it with the 2011 season.
“Everybody was still getting insurance checks and everything from the tornado,” she said. “It was different last year; they (shoppers) were getting new trees, new ornaments. This year, they didn’t purchase as much seasonal stuff.”