Michiana stores see boost in sales
SOUTH BEND -- The National Retail Federation says it expects holiday sales for the November-December period to rise 3.8 percent. The trade group had projected a rise for that same time frame but originally not as much, just 2.8 percent.__ So how are local retailers doing? A snapshot of local shops show local businesses are also cashing in.__ "We have a constant flow of traffic and people are buying too," said Made in Michiana Co-Owner Kitty Cooney Hoye.__ Made in Michiana is a consignment shop that sells arts and crafts. It's one of about five pop-up shops that are occupying empty store fronts rent free during the holiday season. But Cooney Hoye says business is going so well they're thinking about staying.__ "The response has been so positive that we're talking with folks and planning on moving forward after the pop-up season," Cooney Hoye said, "Whether it's here in the downtown location or somewhere else, we think we'll be moving forward.
"__Imagine That Toys started as a pop-up downtown last year. The toy store signed a lease to stay in the location through the year. In only two weeks, the store has already surpassed its holiday sales from last year.__ "In the first 14 days of December, our sales exceeded five weeks of November through the end of December last year," owner Marlene Hollenkamp said.__ In its original location in Mishawaka, Imagine That is doing just as well. __"It's really good," Hollenkamp said, "I'd like to be modest about it, but we're up about 28 percent over last year, which is an inordinate amount. "__At Flourish Boutique located at Gumwood Road and State Road 23 business is also booming._ Web sales manager Lauri Balla says sales are about double this holiday season from one year ago.__ "I think the confidence is getting better," Balla said, "I think people are just tired of the recession. They're not going to do it anymore."
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