The Saturday before Christmas, like Black Friday, is typically a day when shoppers flock to large corporate stores, but Gena DeBoe thinks more people are going local this year.
She is the owner of Chic Botique in Warner Robins, which was doing brisk business Saturday. She said it has been her best Christmas season yet after nine years in operation.
“This has been amazing,” she said. “This has been the biggest year of people wanting to shop local, and wanting to feel like their purchases matter. Sales have been really, really strong ... People are continuing to tell me, what I’m hearing over and over again, is ‘We are making a decision to shop local.’”
Those looking for atypical gifts might do well to visit Ventures Guns & Stuff in Bolingbroke. The “stuff” includes a lot of items that aren’t found just anywhere. That would be purses that have a hidden holster for carrying a concealed gun, a survival backpack filled with dozens of items, and a bucket of military-style survival food that lasts 25 years and is intended for use in an emergency.
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Although he wasn’t especially busy Saturday, owner Gary Tucker said it has been a good Christmas season. Guns and survival items have all been big sellers, and women particularly have been more interested in buying guns. Pink guns are a big seller.
“Everytime they have a shooting in Macon, we sell guns,” Tucker said.
The Macon Mall and nearby Eisenhower Crossing shopping center were doing brisk business, but lines didn’t appear to be especially long.
Jennifer Reeves, manager of John Smeal & Co. Jewelers at the mall, said business was so-so.
“We’ve been doing pretty good,” she said. “It’s been a little slower than last year but we are making our goal.”
Gary and Jill Blitz, of Jones County, were just getting started with their Super Saturday shopping as they headed into Harbor Freight. He had seen a cordless drill on sale that he wanted and she was going to buy it for him for Christmas. They had a few more stops to make after that.
“I am not looking forward to this,” he said.
But most shoppers said they found the going to be less strenuous than Black Friday, with little waiting in line and not too much of a crowd.
Pam Sales was coming out of B. Turners just before noon with a bagful of Christmas gifts.
“It wasn’t bad at all,” she said of the checkout lines. “This is better than Black Friday.”
In Warner Robins and Centerville, the parking lots were fuller. Don and Linda Tucker drove all the way from Americus to shop in Houston County. She said it was primarily because her mother’s favorite store is Bon Worth, and they went to the one in Byron to buy her mom a present. They also visited Houston County Galleria in Centerville and Kohl’s nearby.
“It’s been an easy day for getting around,” Linda Tucker said.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.