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Morning Sun
  • Fireworks sales doing well despite economy

  • In a time when the economic recovery continues to waver, unemployment is high and gas prices are on the rise, it’s reasonable to think families may be planning to spend less on their personal Fourth of July extravaganzas this weekend.

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  • In a time when the economic recovery continues to waver, unemployment is high and gas prices are on the rise, it’s reasonable to think families may be planning to spend less on their personal Fourth of July extravaganzas this weekend.
    But local vendors are reporting sales this year surpassing those of last year and the year before. Heather Wetherell, of Black Market Fireworks of Joplin, which has a tent in the parking lot of Ron’s Supermarket, said her customers have reported multiple reasons for spending more on fireworks this year. Most notably, she said, travel expenses are forcing families to stay home for the holiday, which frees up a little more money — some of which they would otherwise have spent on fuel and other travel expenses — for more fireworks.
    “They’re willing to splurge a bit more because of that, from what they’ve been telling me,” Wetherall said. “They’re not able to take a vacation, but this is something they can do with their kids.”
    Typically, Wetherall said, the week starts out with daily sales of between $1,000 and $2,000 as parents buy sparklers and smoke bombs for their kids. By week’s end, when families start to purchase bigger items such as artillery shells, they’re selling about $6,000 worth of product. On the Fourth of July itself, they’ll bring in between $12,000 and $13,000.
    “Last year we were worried about sales being down, but they were higher,” Wetherall said. “We’re expecting even more this year.”
    Sarah and Jeffrey Renn, of Kaboomer’s Fireworks in the parking lot of Mazzio’s Pizza, said they were experiencing similar sales figures.
    “It’s been a nice surprise,” Jeffrey said. “It’s been very steady since Monday.”
    Sarah said customers have told her they’ve learned from previous years and that they’re more prepared this time around.
    “Some of them said they’ve been saving since January,” she said.
    Sarah said sale also are picking up the pace.
    “It started slow, but now things are really hot,” she said, adding that Kaboomer’s sales figures are similar to those at Black Market. “It’s a pretty good trend.”
    In the parking lot of Holiday Lanes, the New Hope Services tent experienced a sales boom today as well, said operator Helen Cherry.
    “It started slower at the beginning of the week, but today has been extremely busy,” Cherry said. “People are starting to buy big things for their home displays. It’s been buzzing all day.”
    The proceeds from the New Hope sales go directly to benefit Special Olympics athletes and help pay for travel expenses, uniforms and equipment, Cherry said.
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