Walmart employees just received their bonuses and are shelling out cash to area businesses. Local retailers say they couldn’t be happier.
“I know of people that come and buy a car that they got a good enough bonus that they also install a pool,” said Jimmy Young, general manager for Everett Chevrolet in Springdale.
“It’s big ticket items and they spend it quick, if there`s a million dollars that goes into the local economy one day, probably within 5 days, it’s spent,” added Joe Donaldson, Sam’s Furniture general manager.
Employees at Sam’s Furniture said some people go all-out, buying whatever they want.
“We see people come in and fill their entire house or do the entire living room, or the entire bedroom or several of those rooms,” said salesman Jason Chandler.
“The Walmart bonuses are kind of like a second tax return, as my salespeople would call it,” added Donaldson.
Donaldson said it’s their busiest time of the year.
“Our ticket average is probably 50 percent more at this time of year and furniture is a big ticket anyways; it`s not a small purchase,” he said. “But there’s about 50 percent more on average this first quarter, especially when the bonuses come out then they would be other times of the year.”’
Car dealerships are also benefiting.
“We have customers that come in, they have a good enough bonus that they can buy whatever car they want and pay for the taxes without having to finance at all,” Young said. And we see that a lot each year.”
Young said people started coming in last month, knowing their bonus was coming in.
“We`ll hold a check and wait for that check to clear, so we had a 31 percent increase last month in sales. We actually sold more cars last month than we have since the two years we`ve been open,” said Young. “With the injection of the funds, we still have a record-breaking month in January and February, so it`s huge.”
For those who work on commission, this isn’t the time to go on vacation.
“No one is taking off right now; they don`t want to be gone,” said Donaldson.
“They know the importance of being here and not taking vacation when we have this kind of injection of funds into the community,” added Young.
Young said the dealership’s service department has seen an increase in sales as well.