Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for December 24, 2013

Christmas shoppers hustled in on last-minute deals

Like it or not, there are just a few hours left to get those Christmas goodies and wrap them up for tomorrow.

By Stephanie Waddell on December 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SALES PROVE BRISK – Books, calendars – and bathrobes and blankets – have been popular fare at the local Coles bookstore during the holiday season, says manager Christy Huey, seen Monday (top). TREND DETECTED – Play kitchen centres and similar toys are the ʻbig-ticket itemsʼ shoppers have been snapping up this year, says Stacey McDiarmid, owner of Tots & Toddlers in Porter Creek. Shesʼ seen with Prestyn Gammie, her three-month-old son.

Like it or not, there are just a few hours left to get those Christmas goodies and wrap them up for tomorrow.

And as shop owners get ready to close their doors and celebrate Christmas with their families, they’re reflecting on another busy season.

“I don’t see a lot of stock in some parts of the store,” Canadian Tire manager Dwayne Lesiuk said Monday.

There was no single big-ticket item in demand at the store this year, but appliances and a variety of toys have sold well, especially on Nov. 21. That’s when the store held its “Red Thursday” sale just before “Black Friday”.

“That was a huge, huge day for us,” Lesiuk said.

Summing up the Christmas shopping season in one word, he described it as “hectic”, noting anything not “nailed down” has sold.

Coles bookstore manager Christy Huey noticed early shoppers as well, some many into the store in October to stock up on Christmas gifts.

Up until the last three days, the store was beating last year’s sales records, she said, noting she thinks many decided to shop early in the season.

While the store primarily sells books, the most popular item this year was bathrobes and blankets exclusive to the Coles/Indigo/Chapters.

By Monday, the shop had completely sold out of them.

The store was continuing to have a steady stream of customers coming in to pick up last-minute books, calendars and other goods.

Meanwhile, staff at the two specialty toy stores in the city have been busy working their Christmas magic.

Betty Burns, owner of Angelina’s Toy Boutique at Front and Main Streets, is enjoying the store’s first Christmas season at the new location after having moved from a smaller shop inside Horwood’s Mall.

The larger store, she said, lets Angelina’s showcase their products, and staff enjoyed decorating the front of the shop for Christmas.

With the store located right across from the city’s Christmas tree on Front Street, Burns said, many customers have noted they’re enjoying the festive ambiance this year.

Many shoppers are also enjoying the vintage toys the store sells.

Vintage Fisher Price toy cameras, radios, TVs, steel Tonka trucks and Rubik’s Cube are all items that are close to selling out if they haven’t already.

One of the biggest surprises for Burns was just how quickly classic games like Simon Says, now in miniature key-chain versions, have flown off the shelves.

“We completely sold out,” she said.

GoldieBlox, an engineering toy designed for girls, and MasterKitz, which allow kids to recreate masterpieces of art and learn about the artist, are also on the shopping list for many who visit Angelina’s.

Both toys also made it onto the top 10 list of toys at the store for the Christmas season.

Burns noted it was just after Halloween that many shoppers started looking for Christmas gifts.

For Stacey McDiarmid, owner of Tots & Toddlers in Porter Creek, the Christmas season has presented an added challenge as she gets ready to revamp her business with more of a focus on French as well as First Nations classroom resources.

That meant ordering both Christmas stock and planning for January when she plans to shift the focus to more classroom resources.

While it’s been a challenge, she noted she’s excited to move toward offering French and First Nation resources like games, toys and books.

A teacher by trade, McDiarmid said the resources are needed in the Yukon.

As she enters the final hours of Christmas sales, though, she noted the store has enjoyed three visits from Santa and that shopping has picked up over the last few days, though it’s down from previous years.

Play kitchen centres and the similar toys are the “big-ticket items” this year, McDiarmid said.

While many stores offered extended shopping hours over the last week, tonight, the shop owners and managers plan to close their doors at 5:00 this afternoon, enabling staff time to get home to spend time with their families.

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