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Mon, June 24

Christmas shopping off to a great start<BR>

The 2004 Christmas shopping season got off to a good start in Prescott Valley, according merchants contacted by the Prescott Valley Tribune.

Kmart's Prescott Valley store did better Thanksgiving Day than it did last year, according to David Wilson, store manager.

In fact, he said, business was up Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well.

Electronics are popular. "We have 250 new items in Electronics that we didn't have last year, including the new flat screen television sets," he said.

Besides electronic items, Wilson said, cold weather items were flowing out the door. "Some of that may be due to the cold temperatures," he said.

Wilson added, "I think it will be a good Christmas season, with sales up over last year's."

Andy Flores, manager of Prescott Valley's Walgreen Drug Store, said Thanksgiving was dead.

"Our six-hour sale Friday morning was astronomical. Sales were up 20 percent from 2003," he said.

Flores also looks for a good Christmas shopping season.

At Ace Valley Home Center, sales exceeded their expectations, according to Paul Juergens, general manager.

Juergens said, "We did very well."

Tools and Christmas-related items are the most popular things being purchased this year, he said.

Juergens contributed part of Ace's good sales to the town's surge in population, and the fact that Prescott Valley finally has enough retailers here to cause people to shop locally.

Sales at the start of the 2004 Christmas season are "far superior to last year," Juergens said.

Michael Eakin, owner of Michael's Fine Jewelry said his business went flat the weekend after Thanksgiving.

"That is normal as most people don't shop individual stores like mine until about three weeks before Christmas," he said.

At Western Warehouse business was great, Craig Malone, store manager, said.

"Our sales were up substantially over last year," he said. "The bulk of our sales were Carhartt items."

Malone added, "It was a great weekend, and I look forward to a wonderful Christmas Ben Rush, owner of Golf, Etc., said traffic the day after Thanksgiving was about normal for a Friday.

"This is our first year, so people still have to find us," he said.

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