Local businesses preparing for holiday shopping spree

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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – “So far over the last couple of years we’ve seen more and more and more every year,” said Joshua Hoda. “We’re hoping for a pretty big one this year.”

Those words are something that stores are getting ready to experience for the holiday shopping spree. Play and Talk located at the Outlet Mall in Gulfport is one of those stores. Their shelves are stocked and ready with fan-favorite items like figurines and Pokémon cards.

Store manager Joshua Hoda says working a normal shift compared to a holiday shift is night and day.

“Black Friday and Christmas is shoulder to shoulder,” said Hoda. “People flying in and out all day long and gets pretty crazy.” “On the weekdays we probably have five or six people here and have around eight people on the weekends. But on those super busy days, we get up there. We have the whole staff here with 12, 15, and more depending on what we have.”

Hoda says even though it gets crazy for the holidays that doesn’t bother him because of the relationship between his staff and customers. That’s something he hopes could attract future employees to the store.

“We try to build relationships with our customers and show them they can trust us to treat them right,” said Hoda. “We try to keep things at a steady pace so that way everybody gets in and out and everybody’s happy. But we don’t sacrifice our customer service standards and try to make sure every customer leaves happy and pleased and do everything we can to ensure that.”

If you would like to apply to Play and Talk, you can find an application on their website.

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