Local merchants woo holiday shoppers

Published 1:53 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Those who make such prognostications are predicting this will be a good Christmas shopping season—that people are in the mood to shop—if the prices are right.

Shoppers are expected to be more cautious about where and how they spend their Christmas dollars.

This puts the onus on the retail marketers, and many are offering pre-Thanksgiving sales as well as those for the day after Thanksgiving, known in the trade as “Black Friday.” Some, nationwide are even expected to be open Thanksgiving Day with very special sales.

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Many Bainbridge merchants got a jump on the season, as they do each year, with the annual Holiday Open House held Sunday.

The weather was perfect. The stores were decorated and offering refreshments, along with special sales and drawings for prizes—all in an effort to entice the shoppers into their places of business.

Mary Cox was in Willis Park autographing Bainbridge Christmas ornaments, as families wandered through the park enjoying the recorded music, taking pictures at the decorated gazebo or around the fountain.

A random sampling of merchants who were open on Sunday showed Reeves Linens & Gifts was packed with customers and sales assistants were wrapping gifts that were going out the door. The same was true at Polka Dots, now under new ownership of Benny and Mary Grace Hayes and their daughter, Kristy Elkins.

There was a crafts sale to benefit The Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society going on at The Bean Cafe, where customers were in line awaiting refreshing coffees, teas and ice creams, or just sitting and visiting. A beautifully decorated Sharon House Antiques had a steady stream of people going in and out, while down the street, Isabee’s and C. Barnett’s Photography were hosting shoppers.

Moving away from the downtown section, The Tanning Company and Tina Brock Gifts at The Avenues, and nearby Southern Trading were both busy. Godwin’s Jewelers had customers looking over the Pandora bead selection, while some women dreamed of finding diamonds in their Christmas stockings.

The parking lot at Belk Department store was full and store clerks were busily helping customers who came armed with coupons they could redeem for discounts on their purchases.

A drawing was held Monday for a Holiday Open House grand prize and was won by Nichole Lee of Bainbridge.