Merchants report above average shopping season
MORGAN CITY, La. — Tri-City area merchants are reporting a slightly above-average local holiday shopping season.
“I feel that the next few days are going to be really busy because of Christmas Eve falling on a Monday,” Frances Stevens, owner of the Wildflower Boutique in downtown Morgan City said.
She said extending the business hours in the downtown area has been a plus as it has gotten more traffic to all the stores.
“I have very loyal customers that continue to shop with me every year, and new customers discover the downtown area every year,” she added.
As for Wildflower’s offerings, the boutique will be open all weekend. She noted her hours are Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Custom gift wrap is not something you get in the mall or really in a lot of boutiques. We’ve wrapped a lot of gifts. It’s hassle-free. Our customers know they can count on us to help them select a unique gift with a personal touch and have it custom wrapped. Also, gift cards are quite popular.”
Len Klutts, owner of Klutts Jewelers, said business has been good so far this season, bolstered by a recent move to Seventh Street in Morgan City. Sales are up over last year with a mixture of earrings, pendants and, of course, engagement rings being the top seller for the holidays. Less expensive items sell better, he noted.
Had the fiscal cliff been resolved a week ago, he said, “we would have seen a lot better retail numbers across the country.
“Overall, it’s been good,” he said. The store is benefiting from a larger parking lot and shoppers from adjacent stores, he said.
In Patterson, residents already are stocking up for their holiday meals at Cypress Point, according to Operation Manager Tommy Motes.
Sales have been about the same as in previous years, but Motes hopes that will increase over the weekend.
Why go to Patterson to shop for your holiday meal? “Out here, they don’t have to wait in lines. All our lines are express check-outs,” Motes said.
At Alumni Shop for Him and Her in Morgan City, owner Billy Giordano is taking the season in stride.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years. Some years are good, some years are bad. Things seem to be a little better this year.”
His specialty and department store sells both women’s and men’s gifts, mostly items people seem to stock up on at the last minute, he said, so his business does better the last week of the holiday shopping season.
“We’re kind of hoping for this weekend to be a big one,” he said.
St. Mary Chamber of Commerce President Donna Meyer said she believes people are more willing to shop in the parish right now because they don’t want to spend the gas money to go elsewhere.
“People are still spending, but they are a little conservative. Overall, I’ve been encouraged that people are shopping locally. I’ve been shopping here, and I think we have a lot to offer,” she said.