New Canaan merchants certainly had a happy start to their holiday seasons, thanks in part to the annual Holiday Stroll . "We've seen a nice growth," Liz King, co-owner of the Linen Shop on Elm Street, said of the weekend event. "It definitely helped the business."
Owners and managers of several downtown stores said Monday the sixth annual Holiday Stroll, sponsored by the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce , proved good for business, especially on Saturday afternoon. Mark Gust, manager of Family Britches, said the stroll was wonderful. Like many shops, Family Britches stayed open longer than usual on Friday to greet strollers who they hoped would turn into shoppers. "They were not necessarily buying, but a lot of people were exposed to us," Gust said. Business picked up Saturday, he said. "It was very busy that day," he said.
Chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy said 3,000 to 4,000 people visited downtown Friday for the opening night of the stroll. Many shops stayed open late Friday and had sales over the weekend to kick off the holiday shopping.
"I spent a lot of time talking with businesses, and all of them said it was very worthwhile," Murphy said. "All of them were very pleased."
The chamber started the stroll an hour later this year, beginning at 6 p.m., to catch more traffic from the Metro-North train station at Elm Street. The goal for the weekend was two-fold, she said: get people out to enjoy a night and draw more traffic to New Canaan stores. Mission accomplished.
"It was awesome," Murphy said. "The most pleasing thing is talking to many of the merchants. They said it was very good for them. Of course, we want people to feel good, but we also wanted people to shop downtown."
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