Two dozen people were waiting when a new Salem store opened at 7 a.m.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
Lori Duraney of Campbell and Jim Todd of Rogers took to the road Friday for a motorcycle ride rather than holiday shopping, but couldn't pass by the Harley-Davidson & amp; Buell of Youngstown store on U.S. Route 224.
Area malls and large chain stores weren't the only busy places Friday. Many smaller, independent, stores were busy too.
Owners said shoppers either visit their smaller stores to avoid larger ones, or slow their pace by shopping smaller stores later in the day.
"I wasn't going near a mall today," Todd said of their decision to hop on a Harley in the dry, sunny weather. "We had to stop here. We're getting some ideas for Christmas. She can't go wrong getting me something from the Harley shop."
Tim Hamilton, the store's sales and marketing manager, said the Harley store was busy all day, especially from 10 a.m. when the store opened, until about 2 p.m.
Harley-Davidson has a lot of new items in its clothing line, and the clothes will be featured Thursday in a fashion show at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Austintown, he said.
There were specials Friday on leathers and boots, but everything with the Harley-Davidson logo -- from T-shirts to tree ornaments featuring Santa on a Harley -- moves well, he said. The store will have about 250,000 in sales from clothing and collectibles alone from August through Christmas.
Nearby in Canfield's Giant Eagle Plaza on 224, business was brisk at P.J.'s Hallmark Crown Store. National television advertising for Hallmark items such as a George Strait Christmas compact disc and a musical table-top decoration draw people to the store, said owners Peggy and Jim Celedonia.
Nativity sets, angels and other figurines by artist Jim Shore are popular, including Shore's line of Disney characters, Peggy Celedonia said.
"Jim Shore [creations] go out as fast as we can get them in," she said.
At the new Peebles department store in the Salem Plaza on East State Street, about two dozen shoppers were waiting Friday morning when the store opened at 7 a.m. The store features clothing and accessories, shoes, jewelry, gift items and fragrances, said Peter Null, assistant manager.
The store opened last Thursday and had a busy weekend, he said.
"We are very pleased with the sales, and our reception from the community," Null said. "The store is a nice addition to the community."
In Columbiana, Leisha Zolla, owner of Heart of the Country behind Das Dutch Haus restaurant on South Avenue, said business was very busy Friday starting around 10 a.m. Most shoppers there had breakfast at the restaurant first, she said.
She said business is good all year, but particularly from August on because of festivals in the area.
The store offers unique gifts, such as furniture and quilts, and collectibles such as Fenton art glassware and Willow Tree Angels. Snowmen of any size or type are also a big seller, she said.
In downtown Columbiana, some South Main Street merchants said they were pleased with business Friday, and hopeful for a good holiday season.
Beverly Sciaretta and her family own Pewter Peddler and Cricket Box. She said the stores were busy Friday starting in the afternoon, because most shoppers went to big stores early.
Pewter Peddler specializes in pewter items popular for wedding and baby gifts, and home decor such as garland and primitive and country items. Cricket Box is a custom furniture store.
Linda Seidner, manager of Vivian's Antiques and Collectibles, said people like small-town shopping.
"People are tired of malls and like the personal attention we offer," she said. "There are a lot of new people in the area, and they are staying in town to shop. We have a good merchants' association and city council is helping us. We are all working together to make things grow."