Stores Handle Thanksgiving Shoppers

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- It seems there's always that one last thing you need to pick up to finish off those Thanksgiving dinner preparations.

A lot of people seemed to be in that predicament today.

Today grocery stores and liquor stores were bustling with customers stocking up for the holiday tomorrow like they do every year. Food and liquor sometimes go hand-in-hand when it comes to the holidays, and shoppers don't want to miss a thing.

From the turkey, to the green beans, to the pumpkin pie, shoppers checking off their Thanksgiving lists have shelves at HyVee a little bare the night before the feast.

Keath Allen is the perishables manager, but at this time of year he's helping out all over the store to make sure everything is in order. He said they need a lot more people working around this time.

"One of the things that really helped out is we had the JROTC here today and they were doing a food drive as well as helping out," Allen said. "And it's a great thing for the community that our customers were able to provide a couple extra pairs of hands around the store to help with the little things."

Allen also said food items that people don't typically buy are selling a lot lately, such as gourmet canned goods, different types of olives and clams.

Along with holiday food, many are going to serve up some holiday cheer.

Warren Fordham stocked up on alcohol today and yesterday to bring to different holiday get-togethers.

"I just enjoy time with the family and I'm looking forward to tomorrow," he said. "We stocked up just because I know they might close down for a day or two. Even if we decide to stay home, we've got enough to take care of everything."

Topeka Club Liquor, inside of Sam's Club, ordered an extra $40,000 worth of inventory to prepare for the masses.

Usually wine is the most popular around Thanksgiving time.

Liquor store owners certainly expect their stock and overstock to disappear fast.

Patricia Drake, owner of Topeka Club Liquor, said she sees a lot of business as the day comes to an end. Her store closes today at 9 p.m. and won't be open on Thanksgiving.

"It's a fun time," Drake said. "People are happy. They're going to get together with their families, they have a lot to be thankful for this year. And I help them finish their party!"

As hectic as it is, HyVee workers say they've seen worse in years past.

Sandy Kirk has worked for HyVee since it opened five years ago as the Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, and she said she's noticed some changes in the way people shop.

"Because people are so busy - so busy - I think we're noticing that they're doing a lot better planning their holidays, which means they do some of their shopping before the last minute. You're going to see some people here that didn't do that, but I really think people are planning a lot better."

For those who still need to find something they forgot on their way to a party, HyVee and other area grocery stores will be open tomorrow for the last minute shoppers. HyVee will stay open until 2 p.m.