On Market St., merchants sniff a whiff of holiday green

It’s been a partly sunny holiday shopping season for retailers. 

On a walk down Market Street in Philadelphia, offices were mostly closed, but stores were very much open, looking to push inventory out the door before the end of the year.

Rob Dingman is the manager behind the counter at the Artists’ and Craftsman Supply shop. He said the tightly packed storefront did a stready stream of business right up to the Christmas holiday.  

“We’ve had a terrific December,” Dingman said. “We are up significantly from last year. And I think sales were extra good because of Christmas falling on a weekend.”

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Dingman says the store will still see a trickle of gift sales through the end of the month.

For some shops, the holiday boost is only beginning. Monday afternoon saw a line for the Liberty Bell stretching around the visitor’s center on Independence Mall. That was a pleasant sght for Tom Curry, who runs the Independence Store across the street on the mall.  It offers up mementos from Philly postcards to coasters.

“This week we’ll get a lot of locals and people visiting families who live in Philadelphia,” he said.  “Locals bring them down to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.”

Experts say retail sales nationally will finish up this year – but overall, it will be a modest increase in line with a modest economic recovery.

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