Fireworks shoppers this season are going for more boom and less beauty this year.
That’s according to Golden Dragon manager Kelly Meadows, who says sales at the Stanton business this year have been steady, but the holiday falling midweek is a bit tricky.
“We’re not really sure what people are going to do,” she said. “We sell this stuff year-round, so we’ve had people stocking up for months already. Every paycheck they get, they come in and buy another item. But, we’re expecting a burst of activity.”
Meadows said even late into the evening on the Fourth of July, people still come into the store buying items.
“You can never tell when people will come in,” she said. “Last year, up to and after dark they were still filing in to buy stuff.”
As business has picked up the past few weeks, Meadows estimates Golden Dragon has gone through five or six box truckloads of merchandise.
“Did people already do their displays last weekend?” she asked. “Or, will they come in on Wednesday or wait until this weekend?”
Although there is still interest in “pretty” fireworks, Meadows said the majority of sales have been for loud and booming fireworks that shoot into the air.
“We have stuff that will brighten the sky and shake your house,” she said. “The most popular things are always the mortar shells.”
Meadows said the most expensive items they sell are $650 packaged displays that include cakes with 10 to 30 shots each, but the store only sells a couple of those each year.
The cheapest and some of the most popular items include perennial low-cost favorites, bottle rockets, roman candles and firecrackers.
“Bottle rockets are easily our top sellers and they can be as low as $2.99 per gross,” she said. “The big packages are usually for large groups where everybody chips in $100. The average person usually spends between $25 and $30 and gets a variety of small, medium and maybe one or two large things.”
Meadows added each year the store sells more basic bottle rockets than many other items combined.
“Our cheapest items are 49-cent snap pops,” Meadows said. “People may come in to buy a gross of bottle rockets and then they see the other stuff.”
She added since the store is open and fireworks are available year-round, customers have come up with unique uses for their products.
“One guy buys bottle rockets to scare geese out of his fields,” Meadows said. “Another customer uses smoke bombs in gopher dens.”
Golden Dragon is owned by Hale Fireworks and as a permanent store, Meadows said their products are more stable, fresher and better quality than the pop-up tents that appear around this time of year.
“We have people coming in throughout the year looking for stuff,” she said. “Anytime they have an event they want to be special or different.”
The store doesn’t anticipate any drastic price reductions after the Fourth of July because their prices are consistently lower than the tents already.
Meadows is optimistic all of the factors are in place to continue the good seasons they have had in the past.
“Five or six years ago we had a drought and that hurt sales,” she said. “People were afraid of setting their fields and woods on fire. But, this year, we’ve had plenty of rain and everything should be perfect.”