• June 25, 2019

Supplies and demand - Odessa American: Business

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Supplies and demand

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Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:00 am

Jennifer Sundre credits two decades of teaching experience and 15 years of motherhood for allowing her to finish back-to-school shopping early.

The third-grade teacher recently put the final touches on her Gonzales Elementary classroom, three days before teacher workshops began — and 17 days before the start of school.

“It’s really hard for teachers to sit in staff development without having their room done,” Sundre said.

The school provided her with a $175 gift card to Staples for teaching supplies and also has a supply closet on campus for emergencies.

“They’ve made it very easy with the Staples card, really,” she said.

Sundre estimated that she spent about $80 on school supplies at Target and Staples for her 11-year-old son Hunter. The priciest item was a three-ring binder.

A lot of Odessa shoppers hit up Target, 3903 E. 42nd St., early this year for school supplies, said Brigette Carruthers, Target executive team leader for guest experience.

She expected the store to experience a 50 percent increase in business during the tax-free weekend this weekend, estimating $150,000 in sales on Saturday, compared to about $100,000 normally.

She anticipated sales would drop significantly after the weekend, by comparison, but would still be stronger than normal through the first week or two of school.

In preparation, Target is speeding up its hiring process and conducting “instant interviews” as soon as possible after job seekers complete their applications, she said.

Sara Luebano, general manager of Odessa’s Staples, 5161 E. 42nd St., said the store would have extended hours for three weeks, beginning Monday.

The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday hours will remain the same, noon to 6 p.m.

Staples is hiring temporary workers to deal with the rush, Luebano said.

Those with young children are already taking advantage of new fall clothes and summer clearance items at Charles Marie’s for Grandmothers, a children’s specialty store at 5721 Andrews Highway, manager Terri Holland said.

“A lot of people are coming in to get their fall things on layaway, to get things ready for the kids for school. They’re getting clearance items also since we’ve been having nice warm weather,” she said.

Little pantsuits and dresses have been hot items so far, Holland said, as well as custom-made bows for dresses.

As for the mall, it’s staying open until 7 p.m. today, one hour later than normal, mall Property Manager Jerry Penick said — that accommodates shoppers on the last day of tax-free weekend.

“We anticipate large crowds throughout the month of August, simply due to back-to-school shopping,” he said.

Those who do have children in uniform can shop at Uniforms Direct, owned by Odessan Cindy Gray. The store has a temporary location set up in Music City Mall, next to Mervyns in the old Gadzooks space, Penick said.

As for Sundre’s 15-year-old son, Hayden, school supply shopping will have to wait until the incoming Permian High freshman finds out what he needs from his teachers.

Sundre went clothes shopping for one son in June and the other in July. She lamented that high school students don’t wear uniforms.

“They were great,” she said, because all she had to do was pick out five uniforms, one for each day of the week, and she was done shopping for clothes.

Odessa, TX

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