Retail associates prepare for Black Friday

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  • This year, Santa has multiple helpers dressed as him to watch over boys and girls at Murdoch’s Ranch and Supply in Polson. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

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    This year, Santa has multiple helpers dressed as him to watch over boys and girls at Murdoch’s Ranch and Supply in Polson. (photos by Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

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    Bob Stover, a sporting goods Specialist at Murdoch’s Ranch and Supply in Polson, untangles strands of Christmas lights. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

  • This year, Santa has multiple helpers dressed as him to watch over boys and girls at Murdoch’s Ranch and Supply in Polson. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

  • 1

    This year, Santa has multiple helpers dressed as him to watch over boys and girls at Murdoch’s Ranch and Supply in Polson. (photos by Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

  • 2

    Bob Stover, a sporting goods Specialist at Murdoch’s Ranch and Supply in Polson, untangles strands of Christmas lights. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

While classic rock music played in the background, Bob Stover stood by cases of firearms, deciding how he wanted to hang a strand of colorful lights.

The Murdoch’s Ranch & Supply sporting goods Specialist, along with sporting goods Manager Kaelyn Dowdy, were setting up Christmas displays ahead of Thanksgiving.

“We make sure we have all our product out on the shelf, prices are up to date, things look nice, our decorations are up,” Dowdy said.

Dowdy has worked retail for years, with the last three holiday seasons at Murdoch’s, and Stover, who has years of customer service experience in various positions, is marking his first behind the counter.

“I’ve done things along the line of sales, but I’ve never been in sales,” he explained.

Both agreed that Murdoch’s is a “great” place to work, stating that the staff is helpful.

As inventory has swollen to be purged from stockrooms, the number of employees has risen, too.

During the peak of the holiday hiring season, six employees are hired, versus about 25 during the rest of the year.

To prepare herself for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving where retailers offer promotions to get their sales from red, or negative, into the black, or positive earnings, Dowdy said she just goes with the flow.

“You never know what it’s going to be like. It’s different every year,” she said, laughing.

Stover added that from past experiences, he fears “it will be crazy.”

Both predict that weather will have an impact on whether consumers go to larger cities for more enticing sales.

Some people, Stover said, will head out locally because they reserve the national shopping day as the day they head out and buy merchandise.

Stover and Dowdy both, however, enjoy the customers, and said they look forward to interacting with them throughout the day.

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