The Duncan Banner

Business

December 18, 2009

Treasures can be found downtown

Main Street stores helping customers

DUNCAN — Shawn Lockstone knew this Christmas would be a difficult one for sales, but the attitudes of customers who come through his door have brought pleasant surprises.

Terry Schlein also has enjoyed this holiday shopping season, even though sales are down.

Both own two of Main Street Duncan’s oldest businesses. Lockstone has R&S; Good Neighbor Pharmacies #1 and Schlein is proud to carry on the tradition of offering fine jewelry services that his grandfather, L.E. Eaton, first started in the 1930s.

The surprise is that more customers are visiting downtown Duncan, even if they aren’t immediately opening their pocketbooks or buying big ticket items.

Main Street Duncan Director Tammy Johnson had member merchants complete a survey after the Holiday Stroll in late November and found that nearly all the store owners are saying “there’s more foot traffic, but sales are down.”

She’s not complaining. She said that can be a positive indicator for the future.

“More people are coming downtown this year than last year,” she said. “The image perception of Main Street is four banks and an office supply store. So, when they come down here, they are finding items they may have not found somewhere else.”

Schlein also is happy to see more customers, even if they aren’t buying. His attitude is that maybe they will return.

“We’re really lucky with the economy being as bad as it has been, our shop has stayed busy,” he said Thursday.

“We’ve probably had at least 100 people in today,” he said. He admits not all bought something, but just getting them in the door is good. And with Christmas only one week away, that’s 100 potential customers who aren’t driving out of town. The money they spend in Duncan generates tax revenue for Duncan, Johnson said.

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Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

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