Warwick businesses report successful holiday season Merchants say they benefit from 'Home for the Holidays,' which has created a brand for shopping local in Warwick
Photo by Roger Gavan
Last-minute shoppers line up at Newhard’s – The Home Source gift shop on Main Street.
WARWICK — The weather has been generally good for this holiday season and the consensus of downtown Warwick merchants was that "Home for the Holidays," was another big success. Last weekend Tom Roberts, president of the Warwick Merchant Guild and owner of Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, hadn't calculated the final tally for his store but he believed it will be better than last year thanks to what he termed a vibrant holiday season. "We're extremely well on track to do much better," he said. Personalized serviceTim Mullally, co-owner of Style Council and Blue fashion shops, described this year as, "Par for the course. It was very good but not the craziness of years gone by." As to big mall store and online competition, he said, "On Main Street we have to adjust the way we do business to compete by offering the type of clothing and merchandise they can't easily find elsewhere along with personalized service." He also explained that both his businesses, now well established, have tried and true loyal customer bases that almost guarantee their success in every holiday season. 'People enjoy coming to Warwick'Mary Beth Schlichting owner of Frazzleberries, reported that this Home for the Holidays effort "was absolutely great." She believes the successful season for all the shops had much to do with the horse and wagon rides and other free events sponsored by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Merchant Guild to make Warwick a fun place to shop. "People enjoy coming to Warwick," said Schlichting. "We saw lots of new faces this year." 'Rich experience'Mayor Michael Newhard, who is also the owner of Newhard's - The Home Source gift shop on Main Street, also reported a strong holiday season. "You can stay home on your computer or brave the malls," he said, "but neither have the rich experience of small town shopping, especially in Warwick. Home for the Holidays has become a brand for shopping local and has proven a great success. The merchants recognize that holiday shopping is a complete sensory experience whether it's the sound of the horse and buggy on Main Street, holiday music, the scent of evergreens or the sight of store windows and festive decoration they all bring a shopper to a memorable if not unforgettable place. "We've created something special here," the mayor added, "and the shop local spirit has never been stronger." - Roger Gavan