Holiday sales good for Clarendon Hills businesses
Carole Thoeming, who owns Joelle's Hallmark in downtown Clarendon Hills with her husband, Gerry, said holiday sales were notieably stronger in 2012 than was the case the previous year. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 16, 2013 8:12AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Business owners in downtown Clarendon Hills are reporting decent to very good holiday retail sales.
“I think the fiscal cliff talk was on the minds of a lot of people,” said Lila Mufti, owner of The Modern Dog Boutique, 29 S. Prospect Ave. “Sales this year were about the same for me as last year; I thought it was going to be better.”
The 2012 holiday shopping season was disrupted nationally by bad weather and consumers’ rising uncertainty about the economy.
At All Wined Up, 27 S. Prospect Ave., owner Terrie Walker said she expects her bottom line on holiday sales to be about the same as a year ago. She doesn’t, yet, have final sales figures.
“I was very busy, probably busier than last year,” Walker said. “The big difference from last year is that people weren’t buying the high-end stuff this year. Instead of buying a $75 bottle of win as a gift, they bought a $50 bottle of wine.”
Business was considerably better during the just-passed holiday season than was the case a year ago at Joelle’s Hallmark, 6 S. Prospect Ave.
“It was a lot better than last year; I’d say about 15 percent better,” said Carole Thoeming, who has owned the Hallmark store with her husband, Gerry, for more than 37 years. “People came in for cards, and we sold most of our gifts, too.”
Holiday business also was noticeably increased from a year ago at The English Garden Flower Shop, 8 S. Prospect Ave.
“It was better than last year,” said owner Sadie Belman. “I think the economy is better than it was, but it still isn’t what it should be.”
At nearby Oakbrook Center, holiday sales appeared to be better than was the case a year ago, said Chuck Fleming, the mall’s senior general manager.
“I think we had a pretty good year,” Fleming said, adding that he won’t see actual sales figures from the center’s more than 160 stores until the end of January. “We did better than last year; I expect that we’ll be up a couple of percentage points over last year.”
A report that tracks national spending on popular holiday goods, the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, indicated that sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent, compared with 2011. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3 to 4 percent.
In 2008, sales declined by between 2 percent and 4 percent. A 4 percent increase is considered a healthy season.