Tick-tock, still time to shop
By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 23, 2009 1:46 PM
Lisa Sullivan, right, and her daughter Anna do a little last-minute Christmas shopping in the men's clothing section of Belk at Berkeley Mall this morning. Customers thronged stores around Goldsboro today, trying to find those last few gifts to place under the tree.
The holiday shopping season is bringing Christmas cheer to some area businesses.
Craig Casey, owner of Casey's Florist, said business has been steady so far this year.
"Last year was so off," he said. "So far as comparing it to sales, they are steady and up. I was pleasantly surprised to see that people are purchasing a mixture of things -- wreaths for the outside of their home and centerpieces. Sales for fresh cut centerpieces are extremely up."
In addition to fresh cut flowers, wreaths and fresh centerpieces, the shop has a variety of gift items. People can also bring in arrangements they currently own to be refurbished. Casey said the store has premade arrangements or people can call ahead to preorder specialty items.
Casey also promises good sale items the week after Christmas.
"We've had a good season, and we are going to be having after Christmas sales," he said. "People can come by, and we'll have great deals on holiday items and other things."
Casey's Florist, 201 S. Center St., Princeton, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It will be closed on Christmas Day and reopen Saturday at 8 a.m.
Wesley Dills, event coordinator for Hinnant Family Vineyards, said the vineyard's wine makes a great gift.
"We're the oldest and largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina," he said. "It makes a good gift because muscadine wine is very healthy for you, it's the healthiest grape in nature. And if you don't like wine, we have juices and jellies."
The gift shop also sells grapevine wreaths, grape plants, glass toppers, freshness savers and wine racks.
"We have very unique gifts. Things you're not going to find anywhere else. Great last minute things that are easy and simple and thoughtful at the same time," he said.
So far this holiday season, Dills said the vineyard has "fared pretty well" regarding sales.
"It's nothing stellar, but our numbers are not down from last year."
Hinnant Family Vineyards, 826 Pine Level Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve and closed Friday. It will reopen Saturday at 10 a.m.
Monogramming has also been popular this Christmas. Priority 1 Promotions Bouti-que and Gift Shop Owner Donna Hester said although her boutique recently opened in November, business has been good.
"We're getting a lot of good traffic from word of mouth," she said. "We've got polka dots, zebra print and the stuff everyone is looking for. We also have monogramming on site."
She said though the economy has been tough, business in the last couple of weeks "has definitely helped."
The shop offers personalized embroidery and screen printing, duffle bags, totes, tumblers, key chains, notepads, decorative plates, jewelry and lap desks, among other things.
"It shows a personal touch when you add initials or names," administrative assistant Michele Bogu said. "And we have a lot of people that buy stuff remembering people who have passed away."
Priority 1, 4780 Highway 70 East, will be open until 5 p.m. today and closed Thursday and Friday. The store returns to regular business hours Monday which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
Ana Banana's owner Gretchen Pelletier has also seen an interest in monogramming at her store. But in addition to monogramming she sells a variety of unique items including Danish clogs available in women and children sizes and organic children's clothing, among other items.
"I try to find unique gifts you can't go anywhere and get," she said. "The Danish clogs have been really popular. They're really comfortable and we have a lot of patterns."
Ms. Pelletier said sales have been really good and improved from this time last year. She also promises an after Christmas sale where everything in the store will be discounted.
Ana Banana's, 411 N. Spence Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Christmas Eve. The store will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday and reopen Monday at 10 a.m.