November 30, 2011

Stocked up for the holidays

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

People love Christmas for many different reasons, and though it seems full of distractions that seek to take away the holiday spirit, for most people, Christmas wins out in the end.
One distraction or obstacle for area residents that can hinder the holiday spirit is shopping.
It can become difficult to find items, or find time to shop online or out of town. And, since the oil boom began, traffic has become more strenuous, making out-of-town shopping difficult, and receiving and sending packages costly and unreliable.
That’s why Watford City’s Main Street businesses have been doing their best to make area consumers feel like they don’t have to leave town to find what they want.
“It was hard to estimate what to stock for the holidays, but we’ve really tried to provide what we can so people don’t feel like they have to leave town,” states Josslyn Finck, manager of Barrett Pharmacy & Variety.
According to Finck, Barrett’s has ordered $15,000 in toys for kids of all ages, half from Mattel and half from Hasbro. In addition, consumers looking for adult gifts and toys can also find a number of household items, home decor, some clothing for men and women, a variety of gift card selections and more. They can also purchase fabric for a homemade gift if they prefer. Barrett’s also carries wrapping paper, Christmas cards, gift bags and ribbon.
In addition to Barrett’s, all of Watford City’s Main Street businesses have stocked their shelves in hopes that holiday shoppers will stop in.
Big Boy’s Toys Guns & Ammo has a selection of guns and ammunition upstairs and a Verizon store located downstairs that will please any big kid.
 Meyer’s Department Store is full of fashions and accessories for men and women of all ages.
“We have an assortment of Silver  and Wrangler jeans for men, and men’s shirts, Aussie Dogs Boots, ladies fashions, children’s clothes, and belts, jewelry, purses, shoes and Wolves gear,” states Beth Veeder, owner of Meyer’s Department Store.
Likewise, Saddle Up Western Wear carries western clothing for men, women and children. They also carry western hats, cowboy boots, work boots, accessories and more.
Larsen’s Service Drug has an assortment of items for people of all ages.
“We’ve increased the quantities of household and kitchen items we stock,” states Debbie Larsen, owner of Larsen’s Service Drug.
But area shoppers will also find home decor, kids’ games and toys, a variety of jewelry and accessories, wrapping paper, ribbon and much more.
In addition to finding items, Main Street businesses are hoping that their personal service and welcoming atmosphere will serve to enhance the shopping experience.
“We’ve noticed that many people new to Watford City come from areas of the country where there aren’t a lot of small businesses left, so we try very hard to show them how nice it can be to shop in a store where people care that you’re there,” states Larsen.
Not only do local businesses care about you as a customer, they work hard to meet your needs.
“Many people come in hoping to find a favorite product they used back home, and we try hard to bring those items in if possible,” states Larsen. “We also try hard to work with people, and their previous pharmacies and doctors, so they can obtain their prescriptions easily.”
In addition to carrying products, some Main Street businesses have also hired extra seasonal help to accommodate a higher volume of customers.
“Each day is so busy right now that we need the extra help to make sure everything gets done and the customers get what they need,” states Finck. “I’m excited to see which items customers purchase, and if what we’ve ordered for the customers will be a hit.”
With the holidays around the corner and the face of Watford City changing so much, local businesses don’t know what to expect, but they know they are as ready as they can be.