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C’dale Christmas sales a mixed bag

Consumer confidence levels languish near nine-year lows, according to news reports, so maybe it’s no surprise Christmas spending in Carbondale is flat compared to last year.”We’re down about two percent,” said Mr. C’s owner Suzi Titus.”We’re doing okay, about the same as last year,” said La Perla owner Tomasa Quintero.”It’s still slow,” said Jim Hull, owner of J&S Hardware & Rental. “It’s not holding up to what it was two years ago.”Hull, who opened his hardware store with wife, Sharon, 17 years ago, said consumer confidence is when buyers are confident enough in the economy to “let loose of their money.” If some consumers aren’t letting loose of their money, they are still reaching for their credit cards.”Our cash sales are down, and credit card sales are up,” Hull said.Hull’s store sits on Highway 133, and he has a clear view of hometown folks who take their dollars to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. “If it’s a sunny day, they’ll be shopping out of town. But if it’s stormy, they focus on shopping in town,” Hull said.Downtown at the cozy Novel Tea Shop in the historic Dinkel Building, owner Wendy Anderson said holiday season business is about the same as last year. “We’ve been pretty busy,” said Anderson. “We’ve been racing around. That’s pretty encouraging.”Anderson said she appreciates her local customers, many of whom call her by name. “Overall, we’re thankful for support from locals. We’re lucky.”Down the street at Main Street Gallery and Framer, in one of Carbondale’s turn-of-the-century buildings, Sally Norwood has watched Christmas shoppers scurry back and forth on the sidewalk for 10 years.”I’ve been too busy to look at our numbers, but it seems like we’ve been doing what we did last year,” said Norwood, who owns the store with her husband, Frank.La Perla, in Carbondale Plaza at the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133, is a family oriented clothing store open since 1995. It offers colorful dresses, skirts, blouses, shirts, By Lynn BurtonStaff WriterConsumer confidence levels languish near nine-year lows, according to news reports, so maybe it’s no surprise Christmas spending in Carbondale is flat compared to last year.”We’re down about two percent,” said Mr. C’s owner Suzi Titus.”We’re doing okay, about the same as last year,” said La Perla owner Tomasa Quintero.”It’s still slow,” said Jim Hull, owner of J&S Hardware & Rental. “It’s not holding up to what it was two years ago.”Hull, who opened his hardware store with wife, Sharon, 17 years ago, said consumer confidence is when buyers are confident enough in the economy to “let loose of their money.” If some consumers aren’t letting loose of their money, they are still reaching for their credit cards.”Our cash sales are down, and credit card sales are up,” Hull said.Hull’s store sits on Highway 133, and he has a clear view of hometown folks who take their dollars to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. “If it’s a sunny day, they’ll be shopping out of town. But if it’s stormy, they focus on shopping in town,” Hull said.Downtown at the cozy Novel Tea Shop in the historic Dinkel Building, owner Wendy Anderson said holiday season business is about the same as last year. “We’ve been pretty busy,” said Anderson. “We’ve been racing around. That’s pretty encouraging.”Anderson said she appreciates her local customers, many of whom call her by name. “Overall, we’re thankful for support from locals. We’re lucky.”Down the street at Main Street Gallery and Framer, in one of Carbondale’s turn-of-the-century buildings, Sally Norwood has watched Christmas shoppers scurry back and forth on the sidewalk for 10 years.”I’ve been too busy to look at our numbers, but it seems like we’ve been doing what we did last year,” said Norwood, who owns the store with her husband, Frank.La Perla, in Carbondale Plaza at the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133, is a family oriented clothing store open since 1995. It offers colorful dresses, skirts, blouses, shirts, By Lynn BurtonStaff WriterConsumer confidence levels languish near nine-year lows, according to news reports, so maybe it’s no surprise Christmas spending in Carbondale is flat compared to last year.”We’re down about two percent,” said Mr. C’s owner Suzi Titus.”We’re doing okay, about the same as last year,” said La Perla owner Tomasa Quintero.”It’s still slow,” said Jim Hull, owner of J&S Hardware & Rental. “It’s not holding up to what it was two years ago.”Hull, who opened his hardware store with wife, Sharon, 17 years ago, said consumer confidence is when buyers are confident enough in the economy to “let loose of their money.” If some consumers aren’t letting loose of their money, they are still reaching for their credit cards.”Our cash sales are down, and credit card sales are up,” Hull said.Hull’s store sits on Highway 133, and he has a clear view of hometown folks who take their dollars to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. “If it’s a sunny day, they’ll be shopping out of town. But if it’s stormy, they focus on shopping in town,” Hull said.Downtown at the cozy Novel Tea Shop in the historic Dinkel Building, owner Wendy Anderson said holiday season business is about the same as last year. “We’ve been pretty busy,” said Anderson. “We’ve been racing around. That’s pretty encouraging.”Anderson said she appreciates her local customers, many of whom call her by name. “Overall, we’re thankful for support from locals. We’re lucky.”Down the street at Main Street Gallery and Framer, in one of Carbondale’s turn-of-the-century buildings, Sally Norwood has watched Christmas shoppers scurry back and forth on the sidewalk for 10 years.”I’ve been too busy to look at our numbers, but it seems like we’ve been doing what we did last year,” said Norwood, who owns the store with her husband, Frank.La Perla, in Carbondale Plaza at the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133, is a family oriented clothing store open since 1995. It offers colorful dresses, skirts, blouses, shirts, pants, slacks and outerwear not offered in most local stores.Owner Tomasa Quintero said she’s selling a lot of kids clothing, and nice dresses. “Women like nice dresses for special occasions and parties,” said Tomasa, who expanded to Glenwood Springs earlier this year.Back down on Main Street, holiday sales are down a bit at Ajax Mountain Bike and Sport, but manager Ed Phillips is taking economic conditions in stride. “I’m not complaining. … Living here is great. What more can you ask for?” he said.Phillips said he has talked to other Carbondale business owners who say sales are down this holiday season. “People are wary of what the economy is going to do, and are worried about the likelihood for more snow,” he said.A half block off Main Street on Weant, Cedar Chest gift shop owner Connie Davis is busier than last year. “I’ve had a good season,” said Davis, who opened her store 11 years ago. “I’m really happy with the sales volume.”Like Anderson at Novel Tea, Davis appreciates local folks. “A lot of people are shopping in town,” Davis said.If retail sales are flat this year, revenues are in a downward spiral at some Carbondale restaurants. “It’s been so slow,” said Pour House owner Skip Bell.How slow?Bell said he is closing on Sundays until after the first of the year.”I haven’t had one inquiry about a Christmas party this year,” Bell said. “People who used to come in two or three nights a week are just not coming in. People are just not spending.”Some of those dollars that people aren’t spending are from upvalley. Felicia Winograd has owned Art in Flowers for 10 years. She specializes in weddings, parties and private clients, and 95 percent of her business is upvalley.”My business is down 30 percent,” Winograd said. “My clients aren’t spending as much. … I’d say it’s the economy.”


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