Craig merchants see positive holiday shopping trends

For the owners of small businesses, the best Christmas present they could have received was a solid customer base over the holiday shopping season, a gift that many in Craig were pleased to see come to fruition.

Many local businesses saw a good amount of shoppers between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, with the people of Craig and Moffat County supporting small stores with their patronage. Many businesses along Yampa Avenue said they made noteworthy sales despite concerns that customers wouldn’t frequent their locales as much as in previous years.

For some, the result was quite the opposite. Downtown Books owner Terry Carwile said this year’s number of shoppers easily exceeded that of Christmas 2012.

“We were just extraordinarily busy throughout the shopping season,” he said. “It’s really picked up for us through the fall — books, coffee, everything. A lot of kids’ books went out the door, and with the cold weather, a lot of hot drinks. I hope everyone has done as well as we have.”

Nadine Daszkiewicz, owner of The Kitchen Shop, said her foot traffic was good though not exceptional.

“It was about even with last year,” she said. “We sold a lot of knives, a lot of gadgets. For some reason, we didn't sell a lot of coffee beans this year.”

Businesses around Craig will have a better idea of their holiday revenue in January, Daszkiewicz said.

Both she and Carwile noted that the continued absence of a restaurant downtown is still impacting the business scene in that section of town. Conversely, new businesses along Yampa and Victory Way like Intermountain Appliances and Paddy Whack have helped reinvigorate the area.

“It’s always changing,” Daszkiewicz said.

Since moving to the long vacant space at 583 Yampa Ave. about a month ago, Intermountain Appliances has seen a sound amount of shoppers, selling a lot of furniture, particularly beds, over the holidays.

Owner Phil Vallem said he has been carrying televisions and heaters in his inventory, as well, with the larger space giving him more floor space than his location on School Street.

“Seems pretty good so far,” Vallem said of the new location.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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