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Let there be SHOPPING

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | November 24, 2021 1:08 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Shoppers are expected to come out in record numbers starting Black Friday and continuing throughout this holiday season — and great deals are waiting for them.

Stores plan to open early the day after Thanksgiving. There’s no shortage of sales to kick off the drive to Christmas.

Brian Knoll, general manager of the Silver Lake Mall, said they're very optimistic it will be a wonderful shopping season.

“We see people excited to be out and about shopping, enjoying the holiday season,” he said Tuesday.

The mall has a life-size moose and bear on display, Christmas trees to benefit the Kootenai Humane Society, and decorations galore, along with hot deals.

Its Black Sheep Sporting Goods store had its soft opening Tuesday at the mall in the home of the old JC Penney. New products are being added daily.

Black Sheep had another record sales year and expects that to continue throughout the holidays, Knoll said.

He said the nation is emerging from COVID-19 restrictions.

“There’s a sense of holiday spirit and freedom being out and about shopping again,” he said.

Whether you’re headed for downtown Coeur d’Alene, Midtown stores in Coeur d’Alene, the Prairie Shopping Center in Hayden, larger stores along U.S. 95 or Maine Street in Spirit Lake, there are high hopes it will be the best of times.

“There is considerable momentum heading into the holiday shopping season,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are in a very favorable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger.”

Holiday spending has the potential to shatter previous records, says the NRF, which recently forecast that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion.

Local deals are there to be had.

Big Lots is having a Thanksgiving Day sale with 50% off toys and recliners priced at $199.99.

Michaels is having a Black Friday sale of 60% off artificial Christmas trees and 70% off custom frames.

Lowe’s is offering a Kobalt 24-volt drill kit for $89, 50% off Levolor blinds and shades, and a 239-piece mechanic tool set for $99.

Big 5 will be opening at 6 a.m. Friday with sales like a steel-framed portable basketball system for $279, sweatpants for $8 and an HD 720P action camera for $15.

Runge Furniture is telling shoppers if they donate $50 or more to charity they can get hundreds off some Stressless recliners and dining chairs.

Bed Bath & Beyond has a Keurig K-Supreme single serve coffee maker for $79 (save $70.99), a Power XL smokeless grill for $69 (save $70.99) and a Shark Robot Vacuum for $179, a $270.99 savings. A coupon in the flier in Thursday’s Press will save you another 25% on your entire purchase in store and online.

And Fred Meyer is offering $40 off a six-quarter Vortex air fryer so it’s $109.99; 40% off Truly Soft Velvet Reverse-to-Sherpa quilt sets and 60% off holiday motif apparel and sweaters, as well as 50% off Free Country coats, jackets and cold weather accessories.

Save $500 on a TCL 65-inch Smart 4K UHD Roku TV, at $499.99, while a 55-inch Roku TV is $379.99, a savings of $470.

Fred Meyer is offering its usual half price on socks and underwear.

Downtown Coeur d’Alene will be in the sales spirit, too.

“We are very excited for the holiday shopping season which has already appeared to commence downtown,” said Emily Boyd, executive director of the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association.

Many businesses have their windows decorated and Christmas décor up, ready to celebrate the season.

“Overall, shopping downtown is more than just running into the store and grabbing some gifts. It is an experience,” Boyd said. “Business owners have thoughtfully crafted their inventory and are ready to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.”

Twinkling lights line the streets in a warm glow. Owners and staff are eagerly awaiting to help customers, whether it's helping them find a special outfit for a holiday party, offering hot mulled cider as they wander around and shop, letting them indulge in samples of ice creams, cookies or olive oil, or by offering gift wrapping.

“Not only will shoppers leave with a special unique gift for everyone on their list, they will have enjoyed a fun-filled day and helped support their local community by shopping small,” Boyd said.

Here’s a quick look at what’s happening downtown:

Small Business Saturday: Celebrate your local community on Small Business Saturday by shopping, eating and dining local. Many businesses have weekend sales running through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Elf on the Shelf Presented by STCU: Spend the weekend holiday shopping while searching for elves. Find an elf and get your passport stamped and you could win big. Gift cards to local businesses will be awarded weekly as well as the chance to win a Traeger Grill and a private $300 shopping experience at Figpickels Toy Emporium.

“This event is a great way to get the entire family out for a fun day of shopping,” Boyd said.

photo

BILL BULEY/Press

The Elf on the Shelf program will be Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the holidays at some downtown Coeur d'Alene shops.

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