Extra staff needed for busy shopping day

Millions of people across the country will go shopping Friday. The day after Christmas is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

After a day of giving, Friday is a day of shopping, returning and exchanging yesterday’s gifts.

Millions of shoppers were out Friday returning gifts they may not have wanted, while others used gifts cards to buy the presents they never got. All while taking advantage of some pretty good sales in the mean time.

The Valley View Mall in La Crosse was no exception to this shopping madness.

“Today is just as busy as any other day this week,” said Jeff Fritz, JCPenny store leader.

“A lot of people,” said Merle Bries, Tradehome Shoes store manager.

“Oh my word, it’s just been jam-packed, non-stop business,” said Marci Lemmer, Glass Gallery store clerk said.

Needless to say, Valley View Mall was busy Friday.

“People are going through the mall pretty quick, trying to spend up their gift cards and stuff that they’ve actually gotten from Santa or any relatives in the last couple days. A lot of out-of-towners coming to town through this week and shopping,” Bries said.

Bries said so far Friday is mostly sales, not too many exchanges or returns. 

Just outside Tradehome Shoes sits the Glass Gallery where employees say they haven’t had a return all day.

“It’s one sale after the other. One of us is doing inventory, the other one is helping the customer, we work together, get the boxes out and move on to the next person,” said Jamie Kralle, Glass Gallery store clerk.

Lemmer said the big draw for shoppers are the deals.

“Well the days before Christmas were extremely busy and we’re kind of getting down there on inventory, but today has been great. Being that it’s 50 percent off they’re just eager to pickup a lot of product,” Lemmer said.

When asked why she chooses to come out the day after Christmas, shopper Addie Martin said, “Because of the sales and because their my cousins and we get to come together for Christmas.”

To keep up with it all, both Tradehome Shoes and JCPenny say they have extra staff scheduled through the New Year.

“We have expanded leadership teams on the floor, we have additional registers set-up just like we did during Christmas. We’re definitely set up for the peak traffic today just like the rest of the week,” Fritz said.

Bries said the days following Christmas are comparable to Black Friday in terms of sales.

Kralle said customers told her they are already searching for gifts for next Christmas.

National sales numbers are expected to come out early next year.