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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Weekend Shopping Holds Strong

By James Lomuscio

WestportNow.com Image
People flocked to downtown on Friday to kick off the holiday season, and retailers were quite busy with sales. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com
Westport’s downtown merchants had a better Black Friday than last year, with more people buying than browsing, retailers say. And the pace continued today as people toting shopping bags bustled along Main Street and Post Road East where an officer continued to direct traffic.

Downtown parking spaces remained at a premium with all lots full.

“I can’t give you numbers, but the increase has been significant,” said William McGuinness, director of Tiffany & Co. on Post Road East. “We opened in November 2004, and this was our record Black Friday.”

McGuinness added that typically the weekend after Thanksgiving here is more social in nature with people stepping out for coffee and hot chocolate with children home from college and primarily window shopping.

“But these were serious shoppers who were here when our doors opened at 10 a.m., and they bought,” he added. “We had a very strong day yesterday and today as well.”

This season’s downtown retail draw has extended beyond Main Street, which has been dubbed Westport’s Golden Half Mile, to Post Road East where major names like Tiffany’s and Restoration Hardware have been joined by Patagonia, which opened just six days ago in the old Westport Bank & Trust Building.

“There’s been very good foot traffic, and it’s what we had hoped it would be,” said Ben Harrell, assistant manager of Patagonia, the upscale, California-based chain’s twenty first clothing store to open nationally. “For a long time the company has wanted to open a store in Westport. We hope to draw people to other businesses on the Post Road, too.”

Main Street activity was evident at Westport Pizzeria where shoppers taking a break filled every seat at the counter and tables.

“It’s been extremely busy, more than usual this time of year,” said Carmelo Mioli, pizzeria owner. “It’s been constant since we opened at 11 o’clock, and there’s been no break in between. This season is going to be extremely good in Westport.”



Posted 11/26/05 at 09:50 PM  Permalink


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