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Retailers saw ‘green’ this holiday season

National reports show that retailers enjoyed a successful Christmas shopping season and Farragut was no exception.

“We had a record-setting month of December and a record year,” said Rick Terry, owner of Rick Terry’s Jewelry Designs on Kingston Pike.

Terry estimated sales increased 15 percent this Christmas season compared to 2002 figures.

“I’m on the climb here,” he said.

One major difference Terry noticed was the amount of male customers that shopped at his jewelry store.

“We had a lot of male shoppers in the month of December. More than I’ve ever seen before,” he said. “I would say we had more male customers this year than ’01 and ’02 combined.”

Engagement rings were a popular item this season, according to Terry.

“We sold a lot of diamonds this year,” he said. “December is a popular time to ask someone to marry you.”

Earrings were another hot item, Terry added.

“One of the hottest things was chandelier earrings,” he said.

Terry sold 10 pairs of the “more dressy” earrings, valued anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000, in a two-day period.

“A lot of women got upgrades this year,” Terry joked.

Wine and liquor were also hot gift items this season.

“There were a lot of people giving liquor and wine away as gifts,” said Scott Beatty, manager of Campbell Station Wine and Spirits on North Campbell Station Road.

Gift sets were popular with Christmas shoppers, he added.

“Those sell well around the holidays,” Beatty said. “It’s an easy way to do it.”

Beatty said the liquor store recorded about the same amount of sales as 2002, which he was happy with.

“We did about the same as we did last year, but last year was amazing,” he said.

A new register was installed for the 2003 season to better accommodate the holiday consumer, whom, Beatty said, spent more freely this season.

“They were definitely spending more this season,” he said. “A lot of people were buying more high-end Italian wines.”

A local antique store owner said customers were looking for an investment when they visited her store.

“People were looking for something practical and an investment,” said Lisa Lambert, co-owner of Antiquities located next to Kroger on Kingston Pike.

The store experienced its first Christmas season having opened July 2003, but Lambert said they were pleased with their holiday traffic.

“We got a phenomenal response for first-timers,” she said. “It started picking up around Halloween. November was also really good. We had a lot of curious shoppers.”

According to Lambert, the store had a lot of repeat customers and out-of-towners.

“People brought family members visiting from out of town to our shop,” she said.

Among the hot items sold at Antiquities this season were stained glass panels, bookshelves, ring boxes and seven-foot corner cabinets and other large storage furniture.

Lambert said this season has her looking forward to next Christmas shopping season.

“It’s just going to get bigger and better,” she said.

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