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Lisa Shortridge, owner of La Rue Marche. Photo by Margaret Ontl

Local businesses have positive holiday sales

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Local businesses have positive holiday sales
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A cross section of randomly picked downtown business owners or managers felt the holiday shopping season was ending on a positive note. All of them were upbeat as of Dec. 23.

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"It's been very good," said Michele Lindemann, the new owner of Lavender Thymes. "People have been buying a lot for themselves and they buy one for themselves and another as a gift." Lavender Thymes has been an anchor retail store downtown since former owner Jean Kelley opened it in 1987.

"There has been a lot of gift wrapping," said Lindemann of the service that most customers took advantage of this year. "We were very busy during the day between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m."

Kathy Newman, owner of Et Cetera, a business that has been open just over 13 years was a bit more cautious.

"I think we are up a little from last year," said Newman. "I feel people are getting the message to shop locally. I'm looking forward to the new year. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to retail. It is pretty unpredictable."

Down the block La Rue Marche is located in the Dania Hall building. The women's clothing and shoe store, owned by Lisa Shortridge, has been open for seven and one-half years.

"The season has been OK," said Shortridge. "The weather kind of wreaked havoc with us but overall it's been good. It seems the customers come to Hudson after they are done with everything else. They come to shop and have lunch once they are done with the big box stores. If we don't have any more blizzards it should be perfect."

There was no doubt The Purple Tree enjoyed a successful season.

"We are super grateful to all of our customers for making this the best holiday season since our first Christmas four years ago," said Dan Bruch, co-owner. "This is our fourth Christmas and certainly the best so far." He continued, "We are delighted the people of the region as well as the city of Hudson and its immediate environs have supported our mission of improving the environment, peace and social justice and fair trade. Some of our best customers and advertisers are school children, middle and high school students who bring by their parents. (The Bruches give educational programs in the district regarding their mission). It has been a year that is causing us to be very grateful about our placement in Hudson."

Lindsay Stohr, sales associate for Lori's New York Fashions on Locust Street, agrees it was good season.

"It has been going really well with a lot of sales," said Stohr. "A lot of local people have been shopping for their out of town family members. The weather hasn't kept people away. Sales are definitely up."

Moving up Locust Street another downtown anchor retailer, J.R. Haubrich Fine Jewelry, has been in business for nearly three decades.

"It has been a good Christmas season and a good year." said Roy Leek, who together with his wife, Julie, opened the business in 1981. "The retail market is coming back. It is nothing like it was in 2005 but it is moving in the right direction."

"I want to compliment the city of Hudson," said Leek. "They did a great job of cleaning up the snow."

Overall it seems the downtown retail sector is wrapping up the year with a good Christmas season and most seem to be upbeat about the new year.

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