Let the shopping begin!

Published 8:49 am Thursday, November 25, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - 'Tis the season to be shopping.
Local retailers are expecting big things this holiday season as they gear up for the day after Thanksgiving, the day which has come to be known as the "official start" of the holiday shopping season.
Majerek's Hallmark Reader's World assistant manager Shelley Dumond said the holiday shopping season is large part of the store's yearly sales.
Dumond expects this season to be a good one, based on the number of people who have begun shopping at the store already.
Majerek's is offering many items based on the new movie "Polar Express," such as figurines and ornaments.
As part of a holiday promotion, shoppers can get $10 off select items in the store when they buy three cards. Shoppers can get a "Polar Express" Santa Claus figure, which normally costs $19.99, for $9.99.
Shoppers can also pick up Hallmark Jingle Pals, plush toys which sing and play music, for $12.99 under the promotion.
Dumond said the Jingle Pals toys are expected to be big sellers.
In addition to the promotional items available at the store, the store will also be offering traditional Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, which tend to be popular every year, Dumond said.
Majerek's will be open normal business hours Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Larger retailers, such as Wal-Mart, hold special sales for a limited time Friday morning, offering deals which are unavailable any other time of the year.
Wal-Mart's holiday blitz will be held from 6 to 11 a.m., Nov. 26. While there, shoppers can pick up various DVD movies for $3.88, a 20-inch DVD player/television combo for just under $140.
Wal-Mart store manager Dennis Carlson said the holiday blitz is one of the two biggest sales days for the store, the second being Christmas Eve.
Community Relations Coordinator Mary Jane Davis is particularly excited about this year's blitz because she missed last year's event when she was on medical leave. Last year's event was the first Davis had ever missed in her 12 years with the company.
Davis described the blitz as being like a grand opening year.
Wal-Mart recently announced the "12 Toys of Christmas," the 12 toys expected to be this season's hottest selling items.
Items on the list include the Sesame Street E-L-M-O dancing toy, the Little Tikes Hummer H2 Ride-On vehicle, and the Marvel Spiderman 2 Triple-Action Web Blaster.
Roncari-Thayer's Jewelers is offering special deals for the holiday shopping season, said store manager Sarah Christenson.
Christenson said the store typically makes about 40 percent of the total yearly sales during the three weeks before Christmas.
Roncari-Thayer's is tentatively scheduled to open its doors an hour early on Friday at 8 a.m.
Christenson said two hot items this year are mother's rings and diamond engagement rings.
The store will be offering mother's rings starting at $100. The rings, which are designed with the birthstones of a mother's children, are completely hand-made in the store, Christenson said.
Diamond solitaire rings, which are starting from $150, are also a very common gift for the holidays, Christenson said. She said many buyers will combine an engagement ring with a Christmas gift, killing two birds with one stone.
Christenson said sales projections for this season are particularly high because of the completion of the downtown streetscape project.