Natchez merchants enjoying higher sales

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 11, 1999

To hear them tell it, Natchez merchants are getting an early Christmas present this year — in the form of increased retail sales.

“Sales are up from this time last year, but I can’t put my finger on why … and I’ve been too busy to stop and think about it,”&160;said Kim Gammill, manager of Santa’s Station, which moved this year to a new spot at the corner of Main and Canal streets.

Although a variety of items are selling well this year, the bigger sellers are hand-painted blown-glass ornaments, Gammill said.

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Although more out-of-towners shopped at Moreton’s Flowerland just after Thanksgiving, the store is now starting to see a rising number of local shoppers, co-owner Brenda Zerby said Saturday.

“I think they’re seeing that we sell unique things here in Natchez that they didn’t know were available here,”&160;Zerby said.

“They’re seeing that they don’t have to go to Baton Rouge or Jackson or shop on the Internet to buy these things.”

At Moreton’s, those items run the gamut from tabletop fountains and college-themed Monopoly games to collector dolls and year 2000 Christmas ornaments.

For Darby’s Gifts, the biggest seller wasn’t a gift item, but a treat shoppers probably bought for themselves — chocolate fudge.

But for manager Dennis Short, the sweetest treat was increased sales.

“We won’t know why sales are up or how much they’re up from last year until the end of the season,”&160;Short said.

“But for now, we’re just enjoying it.”