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Island shops enjoy successful holiday season

January 2, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

The week before Christmas was deemed a success by many business owners due to the number of customers and purchases during the holiday season.

WildChild Gallery owner Peggy McTeague said this year was by far the best Christmas season they have had in the 15 years the gallery has been in Matlacha.

"We had our 12 days of Christmas," she said, which kept the gallery open later for the last 12 days before Christmas Eve. "All through the two weeks prior to Christmas, we had good crowds."

Customers purchased quite a few large prints, as well as jewelry.

"We were selling earrings right off our ears that we were demo-ing," she said.

The crowds picked up in October, McTeague said of those who visited WildChild Gallery.

"We had a flux of customers down a little earlier than normal," she said.

Paisley Parrot owner Pat Doerman said they became busy about two weeks before Christmas. She said they had quite a number of people stop in, which was more than the previous month.

"It is picking up," Doerman said. "I had a lot of people buying Christmas things this year."

The steady crowds of people shopped until the day before Christmas.

She anticipated that the crowd would pick up again the week after Christmas.

"It's usually a good week for sales," Doerman said of the days between Christmas and New Year's Day.

The art and antique show that was held at the beginning of December, she said, helped kick off the season this year. Doerman said she thinks the sales for this holiday season have a strong chance of being a little better than the previous year.

Island Dcor and More owner Judy Bicking said although things started out slower than last year, the week before Christmas really got into gear, in terms of sales and customer traffic.

"I think we will probably be a little over than last year," she said in terms of sales. "We are definitely looking forward to a good season."

This year, Bicking said, the new wine line of manatee, dolphin and pirate wine holders was the big item to purchase.

"It is very Florida," she said. "They are just loving it."

The traffic, Bicking agreed, was expected to hold steady during the week between Christmas and New Year's because people are more relaxed and enjoying the area now that the holiday has passed.

"They are coming more in for themselves this week," she said the day after Christmas, which included local and out of the area customers.



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