If you received a puzzle piece in the mail from Crown Jewelry, don’t throw it away. Take it to the store on Sunday between 1 and 5 p.m. to see if the piece fits on a puzzle in the store that has about 15 pieces missing. Plugging that piece in could win you a $500 gift certificate.
Even if you didn’t get a puzzle piece in the mail, you might even want to get there a little early but expect a line because the first 25 people in the store get a free bracelet.
And if you buy anything from a simple coffee drink in the adjoining Just Brew It Coffee House, you’ll get three Candy Cane Cash Sweetstakes tickets that could land you $10,000.
It’s all part of two promotions by retail merchants to get you out to see what they have to offer this holiday season. Holiday Open House will be held in selected stores from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, a day most of the stores are usually not open. At the same time, a Main Street Altus promotion called Candy Cane Cash Sweetstakes begins giving tickets away for a drawing on Dec. 16 for cash from $100 to $10,000. You have to be present for the drawing and you can accumulate as many tickets as possible between Sunday and Dec. 16.
Shannon Preston, owner of Crown Jewelry and Just Brew It, said last year the store had more than 20 people waiting in line for the free bracelets. He and employee Taylor Felder have been working the puzzle promotion for four years. They buy two sets of the same puzzle and send out one set of pieces to their top 500 customers. Puzzle prizes range from a pound of coffee to a $500 gift certificate.
Felder embarrassingly admits to having worked the puzzle a few years ago with her husband at home and when she carried it on a cardboard piece from her car to the store, wind caught it and destroyed the puzzle, requiring her to start all over.
The store will have 20 percent off some of their products and buyers get three tickets for every $10 of merchandise they buy. During the rest of the promotion, they get one ticket for every $10 they spend.
Each participating merchant in the Candy Cane Cash Sweetstakes receives thousands of tickets based on whether they sponsor the event at the $250 or $500 level. Eash store decides how to distribute the tickets to customers.
Krystal Martin, owner of The Booterie and Belles and Beaux on Main Street, said the Holiday Open House and Candy Cane promotions used to start earlier in the season but it didn’t give some retail owners time to shift their in-store decorations from Halloween to Christmas. She said no one knows who first started the open house event but the fact it coincides with the Candy Cane Cash promotion generates a lot of traffic in her stores.
“Everyone gets out to see what new product lines people are carrying,” she said. At The Booterie, Martin offers comfortable casual wear including a range of shoes from Birkenstock, Taos and Keds, among others, for women to Red Wing work boots for men.
Ironically, Leslie Briscoe, owner of Lady Austin, was busy changing the store decor from Halloween to Christmas themes. She said like many other businesses, she will be offering free refreshments including hot apple cider.
She likens the annual event to a family reunion as she put on a holiday sweater to model.
“You often see the same groups of people who choose to come out every year,” she said. “It might be the only time of the year we see them, so we enjoy the fellowship.”
Alex Rodriquez, owner of the Black Orchid Floral wants to entice you to visit his store at 1721 Main St., where he displays personally handmade Christmas ornaments and holiday decor. He plans to offer wine samples and snacks and said he’s planning a drawing for a special gift. Rodriquez said he wants people who don’t normally go to a florist to visit to see his range of items. He will also be taking special orders for customized wreaths.
The event traditionally kicks off the holiday season with a sort of piece of the puzzle for everyone.
Reach Rick Carpenter at (580) 379-0545.
Reach Rick Carpenter at (580) 379-0545.