Last Friday night’s “Commerce by Candlelight” created strong sales and brought in new customers, participating merchants said.
“It was great. It was very successful,” exclaimed Melissa Moody of Peyton’s Place, a South Broad Street gift shop. “I sold a lot.”
Moody said many of the shoppers were new to the store and that she was busy all evening.
“I did as much that night as I did the entire week,” she added. “It was definitely worth it.”
The event featured extended hours for 22 downtown businesses, refreshments and a drawing for door prizes. It was sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority.
The DDA’s executive director, Hasco Craver, said the DDA will solicit comments from participating merchants “to get their feedback on what worked and what didn’t.”
“We’ve discussed the possibility of adding it to the first of December event schedule, with Commerce by Candlelight on Friday and roll it into Hometown Holidays on Saturday and finish with the parade on Sunday,” he said. “We’re going to get as much feedback as possible. I asked for a lot of comments from folks on the sidewalk.”
A lot of DDA promotions are aimed at image development; this one focused on sales.
“From what we’ve received in the way of comments, it was successful,” Craver concluded.
Terry Minish, a DDA member and owner of Jay’s Department Store on South Broad Street, would agree.
“It was fantastic,” he said. “We’ve never had that many people in the store after hours in the history of Jay’s. There were tons of people. I hope we build on it.”
Minish, who said business was steady from about 6:15 to 8:45, admitted being somewhat surprised.
“I really didn’t think we’d have that big a response,” he said. “It was fantastic.”