Keeping shoppers happy during the holiday season

Wednesday, December 17th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

This week before Christmas, retailers are hoping for a huge boost in sales. For many stores, the days after Thanksgiving make up as much as half the revenue for the entire year.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler shows us, most retailers realize, their success, depends on "your" satisfaction.

Michele Casey doesn't have time to waste. She knows what she wants, and how much time she has to get it. Even though she has five kids, she's finished most of her Christmas shopping.

Most of us still have plenty of shopping to do, during the most stressful time of the year. The shorter the time to Christmas, the longer the lines and the shorter our patience. Is there anything that just drives you nuts about shopping? "Crowds. Trying to get through."

And then with kids, it ain't too easy. "Hard for kids too, I have the same problem too." Sure he's only 8, but Tyler Castellanos is a pretty smart shopper, with the same concerns as grownups. Can't find the thing that you want to buy. "Yeah, and it's packed." I know and then you have to stand in line. "I know and then you have to see if it's a low price."

"Biggest thing is if they advertise something and they don't have it. It's real aggravating because you're going after it, and it's not there."

Experts say you can minimize stress by making a list, setting a budget and making sure the store has what you're looking for ahead of time. "I'll probably cover 10 miles a day going back and forth in these."

Target has knowledgeable "team leaders" like Robert. Experts say shop at stores that provide training, even to holiday help. "Our goal is to provide at all times, fast, fun and friendly service."

Team members on the floor have handheld devices that help control the inventory. They also have walkie talkies to communicate back and forth, and then price scanners.

Everything is designed to help you get in and out without a hassle. Last-minute shopping doesn't have to break your holiday spirit.

Consumer experts also say, find out whether the store gives a 100% refund or exchange policy - before you shop and keep all your holiday receipts in one envelope in case someone needs to make a return.