Ups and downs in retail sales

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, December 29, 2010


FRANKLIN—Area business owners are wrapping up sales for the holiday season, and many are pleased with the turnaround after last year’s lull.

Billy Smith, owner of Smith Jewelers in downtown Franklin, said the attitudes of shoppers were better this year and he noticed that many former International Paper Co. mill workers, who were struggling last year to buy presents, are now re-employed.

“They’re not making what they were, but they’re employed,” said Smith, noting the store was “doing a lot better (this holiday season) than we expected.”

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised,” he said. “Last year was probably the toughest year I’ve had, but I think things are turning around.”

Gerry Patnesky at Alphabet Soup said sales were “very good this year.”

“This season never ceases to amaze me,” Patnesky said.

When asked if she thought this year’s sales were better than last Christmas, Patnesky said “I think it was.”

Not all businesses experienced an increase in Christmas sales.

Vicky Baker at Kilby’s Flower Shop said even though it “went really well,” it was “not as good as it was (last year), but we hung in there.”

The biggest seller was poinsettias, which are always very popular around Christmas.

Baker said sales were spread throughout December, not just in the few days before Christmas.

Karen Butler at Dail’s Home Center said sales were “fair” and what she was expecting.

“It was a small rush,” Butler said, which was about the same as last year.

Jimmy Pope, sales manager at Blake Ford in Franklin, said he didn’t notice much of a difference in sales this year when compared to last year.

Pope said they saw a spike in sales around the holidays, but they are “right on target” for sales this year.