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Archive for Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Lawrence stores welcome after-holiday bargain hunters

December 28, 2004

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Just as she does every year, Tonganoxie resident Benita Adams hit the stores Monday for bargain hunting in the afterglow of a fruitful holiday season.

"I'm just browsing, just seeing what bargains are here," said Adams, perusing the seasonal racks at Sears, 2727 Iowa, before heading out to Hallmark, Kohl's, J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart. "I'm looking for a Christmas tree that's marked down ... holiday cards, wrapping paper, that kind of thing."

Adams joined the legion of shoppers seeking post-holiday sales, and retailers were poised to welcome them.

At Sears, general manager Craig Kotowske was overseeing sales of plenty of discounted items. On Sunday, the retailer cut prices on already discounted apparel and toys to spur sales, and items in the Christmas shop were selling for up to 75 percent off.

"There's a lot of clearance beginning to move out," he said, while noting that sporting goods -- especially treadmills and exercise bicycles -- were selling well as people made resolutions for the new year.

At Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop, 802 Mass., owner Dan Hughes said the shop had seen fewer returns than normal, which he attributed to the "extended" holiday through the weekend.

Holiday sales have been solid, he said, as people redeemed gift certificates and geared up for the rest of winter. The store is holding off on making deep discounts.

"We'll see how this week pans out," said Hughes, who has worked at Sunflower since the late 1980s. "We hold the prices until spring is almost here, so (for) the month of January things stay pretty stable. Once we get to February, we start taking a look at anything else that might be left over."

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