Holiday sales report up from Hinsdale
Ken Hartley, owner of Hartley's Cycle Shoppe, says bicycles still are traditional Christmas gifts for children, although the number he sells has been going down for the past 10 years. | Kimberly Fornek—Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2013 2:19AM
HINSDALE — The holidays were merry and bright for some local businesses.
The manager of J. McLaughlin said sales were better this holiday season than a year ago, when the store had recently opened.
“We saw quite a few new faces in the store,” said Christine Martin, manager of the clothing store on the corner of First and Washington streets.
“I did hear from customers how much they liked shopping small and local and not having to deal with Oakbrook (Center).”
Martin estimates about 60 percent of the purchases were for gifts and 40 percent were “self-gifting.”
“We did have women buying things for their husband and kids to give them for Christmas,” she said.
About 25 percent of sales were for menswear, which is more than other J. McLaughlin stores around the country and more than the share of display space allotted to men’s clothing in the Hinsdale store, Martin said.
Steven Potter, owner of Hinsdale Clothiers, said his sales during the holiday season were a little better than last year, and last year’s sales were the best he ever had in the store’s 23 years.
“We attribute it to having many new customers who had never visited us before,” Potter said.
Improved personal service and new clothing lines that appeal to younger men were the keys to attracting the new customers, Potter said.
Jim Loufman, co-owner of King Keyser Specialty Sports in downtown Hinsdale, said business was excellent. The store sold skis, snowboards and winter gear not only for gifts, but also to people who were equipping themselves for a winter vacation.
“A lot of people from this area go to Vail and Telluride in Colorado and to Utah to ski,” Loufman said.
Paula Fuller, an owner of Fuller’s Home & Hardware store, was more reticent. She said sales were about what they expected. Customers bought tableware and home accessories to give as gifts and for their own home entertaining, and some people shopped at the hardware store for the men on their list.
Ken Hartley, owner of Hartley’s Cycle Shoppe, said Christmas sales were not as strong as he had hoped.
“But let me put that in context. We had an exceptional year last year,” he said.
Eighty-degree temperatures in March and mild weather through November meant he was selling bicycles earlier and later in the season than usual.
But the bicycles parents bought in September, October and November to enjoy the outdoors may otherwise have been purchased for their children in December.
“Bikes are pretty traditional Christmas gifts,” Harley said.
Prior to calculating his December sales, Hartley estimated the store sold between 50 and 60 bicycles during the holiday season.