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Jamestown retail managers report strong year in '12

By Keith Norman

The Jamestown Sun

Retailers in Jamestown report the holiday shopping season capped an excellent year. Most are also anticipating strong retail sales through 2013.

"The holiday was awesome," said Cindy Gilge, owner of Gifts from the Heart in downtown Jamestown. "A lot of traffic with a lot of people that had never been in the store before."

Gilge said she hadn't done the final tally, but thought the year was a record setter for the store.

"It was a good year all the way through," she said. "We've paid our dues and people are recognizing we are here."

This was the sixth Christmas season Gifts from the Heart has offered handmade and gift items, Gilge said. She anticipates expanding the store's product lines in the next year.

Some long-term retail operations also reported a good holiday and year.

"Great holiday," said Jim McCall, store manager for White Drug and White's Home Center. "Sales at the home center and the main store both did well."

McCall also sees good things for the coming year.

"The things they are talking about at Spiritwood should be a positive for the community," he said. "But only time will tell."

Plans by CHS for an anhydrous ammonia plant at Spiritwood could cause an influx of as many as 2,000 total workers at various stages of construction and as many as 100 during operations.

Store owners and managers had reported a busy holiday shopping season right through the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

"Overall the holiday met our expectations," said Joni Dalke, store manager of Kmart in Jamestown.

Dalke also praised the "layaway angels" who helped out the people making purchases through the layaway program.

"The layaway angels were greater this year than last," she said. "The best thing is that some people who received a benefit this year plan on making donations to help others next year."

Layaway angels provide money to the store, which is then applied to the layaway accounts of people making purchases of toys and clothing for children's gifts. It is not an organized program but has spontaneously occurred in some communities including Jamestown.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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