Christmas is over; time for deals on decorations
Lisa Bascomb, of Park Ridge, shops for Christmas lights at Norbert Pools in Niles on Dec. 26. The store has all of its holiday decorations on sale. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 4, 2013 1:50AM
NILES — Norbert Pools and Mil-Green in Niles have been lighting up the village this holiday season by turning their stores into a festive, sparkling winter wonderland.
But now it’s time for those after-Christmas deals.
“Every Christmas we get a lot of customers, but this year we went even bigger on Christmas and made the store more of a forest,” said Robert Hack, manager at Norbert Pools, 9141 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Each year on Dec. 26 long lines form with customers wanting to take advantage of the store’s big half-off sale, Hack said.
“It’s almost like a Black Friday sale just for Christmas trees,” he noted.
Hack said sales “were great” this year with a steady crowd for much of the day. Usually there is a line starting to form at 8 a.m. the day after Christmas, filled with customers who had been eyeing a certain tree or decoration to take home and display next December.
Hack added that there are some people who celebrate Christmas in January (many Orthodox Christians will celebrate on Jan. 7), so they can get trees and other decor on clearance before the holiday.
Norbert Pools also sells inflatable decorations, indoor and outdoor lights, Disney characters, wire figures, wreaths, LED wire figurines and shooting-star tubes.
Though the store is stocked with ping-pong tables, pool tables, poker tables, darts and a wide variety of swimming pools and outdoor furniture outside of the holiday season, it is Christmas decor that is hugely popular.
“It’s been a lot bigger on the Christmas side than the billiard side this year,” said Hack.
Hack added that he generally doesn’t start packing away the Christmas decorations until mid-February when it’s time to get ready for pool season.
“We’ll keep it out longer if people keep coming,” said Hack.
Up the street at Mil-Green, employees have been busy selling pre-lit Christmas trees, lights and something new and unique this year: life-size LED decorations. One such decoration consists of Santa’s sleigh and two reindeer made up of 20,000 LED lights.
“They look like molded ice sculptures,” explained Steve Arden of Mil-Green, 9650 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Arden said the store featured a 7-foot-tall Santa and a 16-foot-tall Christmas tree, both made with LED lights.
Just like at Norbert Pools, the after-Christmas sale at Mil-Green attracts many customers by offering Christmas items at half price.
“It’s been a little better than last year,” noted Arden about sales leading up to Dec. 25.
In addition to Christmas decorations and trees, Mil-Green also sells fireplaces and gas logs, gas grills and grill parts, outdoor furniture, patio umbrellas, pool filters and chemicals and other outdoor items.
Arden said that he saw a good crowd at the store the day after Christmas.
“It was quite encouraging,” he said.