Merchants greet busy shoppers

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Brookhaven has enjoyed a very successful holiday season,according to city merchants.

“We probably had the best After-Thanksgiving Sale we’ve had inat least five or six years and it’s continued to be steady,” saidCathy Norton, owner of Children’s World. “It’s been a lot betterthan last year.”

Norton attributed this year’s success to more residents shoppinglocally and from accounts of her customers that family membersvisiting the town have found the shopping in Brookhaven to be a funexperience.

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“They didn’t have the stores in their towns that we have to shopin,” she said. “We have broad base of stores with a variety ofmerchandise. And the personal touch can’t be overlooked.”

Norton said out-of-town customers remarked that “thank yous”received from area retailers pleased and surprised them.

“Apparently, they weren’t used to hearing it where they normallyshop and were told ‘thank you’ from every merchant they met here,”she said. “I think we have just as much to offer and the ability toaddress their needs (as the major cities). They’re not just anotherdollar in Brookhaven, they’re a person and we appreciate theirbusiness.”

Susan Harvey, owner of Harvey Electronics Radio Shack,agreed.

“We’ve had a really busy season and hope we’ve been able to takecare of the customers’ needs and wants,” she said. “We ran out of afew things, but were able to obtain some more. The customers werevery appreciative and very patient when they would have to wait inline.”

Maggie McClelland, assistant manager at The Stage DepartmentStore, said they also had a “very successful” holiday season.

“Everything’s gone really well,” she said Tuesday. “I’mexpecting it to pick up again today and (Christmas Eve) because wehave a lot of last-minute shoppers.”

Harvey said they were also helping the last-minute shoppers.

“When they come in with that wild-eyed look you know they needsomething now and it’s nice to be able to help them,” she said.”We’ve had a lot of procrastinators and we’ll be open afterChristmas for things Santa forgot, like batteries.”

Keith Smith, manager of Sears, said the store had a successfulseason, but not as plentiful as others had reported.

“We’ve had a very good season,” he said. “It’s been a littleslower than previous seasons, but we’re happy with the sales. Therewas definitely a steady flow of customers.”

The store was extremely busy the two days after Thanksgiving andposted better gains than in previous years, but tapered offslightly after that, he said.

“The after-Thanksgiving rush may have made the pace kind oftaper off a little,” he said. “I think a lot of people got whatthey needed then.”