Holiday shoppers flood stores
By JUDY SHERARD
Holiday retail sales were up for most local stores.
"It was a great Christmas to be in downtown Hays," said Tammy McClellan, owner of Simply Charmed. "It was actually the best one we've had since being open in 2003."
McClellan estimated sales in her store were up approximately 8 percent.
Shoppers "liked some of our lines we stock that do a lot of national advertising like Pandora, Vera Bradley and Brighton handbags and jewelry. Our clothing went well, too."
The shopping season got off to a slow start at White Chocolate, but "got pretty busy the week leading up to Christmas," said Derek Hadley, store manager.
Hadley said the shopping season usually is more spread out, starting sometime in November.
Sales figures were about average with skateboards, clothes, shoes and gift certificates being popular items, he said.
The Mall kicked off the holiday shopping season at midnight Black Friday.
"Our midnight opening was really good," said Anne Erbert, The Mall property manager.
It was busy with shoppers throughout the Christmas season, marketing director Savannah Fabrizius said.
Erbert said she wasn't sure what the difference was this year, but "I've been here for seven years now, and I would probably say this is the busiest Christmas we've ever had. It was really good traffic."
Stores reported good sales numbers, too.
The Associated Press reported shoes were a popular gift this year, and Famous Footwear store manager Diana Unrein said that store had "a lot of shoppers. We were very busy. We're very pleased with the results."
Sales at Bath and Body Works also were brisk, increasing 15 percent over last year, said Katie Dorzweiler, store manager.
"I think it just really contributed to the Mall's output of what they were advertising, and we just had a really good holiday."