Tahlequah Daily Press

December 28, 2012

Merchants report very few holiday returns

Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — In spite of frigid temperatures, shoppers were out making exchanges and returns Wednesday, along with spending their Christmas money.

Most exchanges were for well-intended but missized clothing and footwear, and clerks said most customers were pleasant, as long as they didn’t have to wait very long in line.

Stores reported low returns and exchanges overall for the day after Christmas.

Factory Connections reported only a few returns and exchanges, said Manager Angie Baker.

“We only had a dozen returns; mostly we had exchanges of sizes,” Baker said. “A lot of people exchanged and bought more.”

Baker reported no unhappy customers Wednesday.

“It was nothing but positive. Our regional manager said ‘make your best judgment and make people happy,’” Baker said. “So we did. It feels good to work for a company that supports you like that.”

There were a few exceptions, but she kept to their exchange policy that doesn’t take back jewelry, shoes, and intimates apparel.

“And we cannot accept returns on worn items,” Baker said. “We want our customers to get what is best.”

Next door, Patricia Rushin, a manager at Atwoods said it wasn’t as bad as she was expecting it to be.

“We has fewer returns than last year, mostly boots and clothing for different sizes,” Rushin said. “There was nothing that people didn’t like at all. It was good to hear.”

After-Christmas sales also brought people in, Rushin said.

“We have 50 percent off on Christmas lights, decorations and gift wrapping, and toys are 25 percent off,” she said.

This year was a good year for Christmas at Atwoods, Rushin added.

Sharpe’s Dry Goods clerks said they had more returns than exchanges.

“Mostly for Key overalls, and some girls clothing,” said Brittany Cagle. “Exchanges were for Wranglers in a different size and a few boot exchanges, as well.”

Business was steady all day Wednesday, Cagle said, and most people were pleasant. It’s her first Christmas to work at Sharpe’s and she said it was pretty busy the past week.

“They looked around and bought other stuff while they were here,” Cagle said.

Unofficially, a Walmart clerk said they had fewer exchanges and returns than last year.

At Lowe’s, head cashier Dylan Sherrell said they, too, had fewer returns than last year.

“Returns didn’t increase from an average, but by maybe a handful,” Sherrell said.

An electric pressure washer, tools and decorative items like Christmas lights were among returns.

“We do strictly refunds, no exchanges,” Sherrell said.

It’s the second Christmas for Karisa Thouvenel to work at Tractor Supply.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of exchanges today, about six or seven. Mostly clothes in wrong sizes,” Thouvenel said. “Not bad for Christmas season.”

After-Christmas sales also brought shoppers in, she said.

“A lot of people were using gift cards,” Thouvenel said. “We have insulated outer wear at 30 percent off, holiday toys for 40 percent off and holiday decor for 50 percent off.”