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Downtown businesses report strong holiday sales

The merchants and restaurants in downtown Hudson enjoyed a profitable holiday shopping season it appears.

"It was a great holiday. We were busy and had a lot of fun," reported Susan Tierney, manager at Knoke's Chocolates. "Our sales were definitely up from last year."

Next door at Elan women's clothing shop on Locust Street, manager Julie Neiderhauser gave a similar report.

"We had a good holiday season," Neiderhauser said. "Sales were good. We had our usual last-minute shoppers, so we were open Christmas Eve until three or four and had people shopping right until the very end."

Neiderhauser said holiday sales at Elan were as good or better than last year.

Dilly Dally gift shop, owned by Sandee Madigan, had a significant increase in business, Neiderhauser said. Dilly Dally's move from a lower level space on the alley into the Locust Street storefront formerly occupied by Knoke's Chocolates played a role in its increased sales.

Neiderhauser said the night of the Candlelight Stroll on Friday, Nov. 30, was especially busy.

"I think of all the holiday events, that one probably brings us the most traffic," she said.

Ruth Misenko, owner of Seasons on St. Croix Gallery, attributed the strong sales, in part, to ongoing efforts of the Hudson Independent Business Association.

Misenko was one of the organizers of the "Have a Local Holiday" promotion sponsored by HiBA.

The promotion featured two live radio broadcasts by Thunder Country Radio (95.7 FM) from the Second Street Crossing building on Second Street, the distribution of "Have a Local Holiday" buttons, drawings for HiBA dollars and in-store specials.

"I think people are feeling pretty good about it. It certainly increased over last year," Misenko said of the shopping season.

She said mild weather may have contributed to the increased traffic.

"But I also think there are growing numbers of people who really appreciate what is going on in downtown Hudson and are happy to spend some of their holiday dollars down here," Misenko said.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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