Vicksburg stores ‘extremely busy’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2009

Amid reports of a tepid Christmas buying season nationwide, Vicksburg merchants reported a rush of business Wednesday, the next-to-last shopping day before the holiday.

“Not at all,” said Georgia Lynn of The Cinnamon Tree when asked if the national economy’s tailspin had slowed shopping at the store at 1322 Washington St.  “We have been extremely busy.”

Lynn, also president of the Vicksburg-Warren County Humane Society, said she spends time helping The Cinnamon Tree’s regular staff every holiday season. Hot items this year include Vera Bradley luggage, Pandora jewelry and small animal-shaped bracelets, she said.

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Meanwhile, at Pemberton Square, JC Penney manager Alvin Richardson said the volume of his store’s business had not changed noticeably since last Christmas season.  Buying preferences may have changed, Richardson said.

“You’re seeing a lot of people preferring more moderately priced items,” Richardson said, specifying lady’s pajamas, sport shirts and small toys as big sellers. “People have been real upbeat. With everything going on, you would think that people’s attitudes would be different. But everyone has been really pleasant.”

Meanwhile, on Iowa Avenue, Walmart SuperCenter Assistant Manager Todd Kurtz said the store has seen good business, particularly in its electronics department.

Positive reports were not uniform. Mohsinali Ali estimated business at his cell-phone kiosk, Discount Connection, was “off about 80 percent” since last year. Ali added, however, that “stores that sell clothes, like Dillard’s and JC Penney, seem to be doing OK. My thinking is that not a lot of people want to buy phone coverage right now.”

Pemberton is scheduled to be open until 6 tonight, as are the Outlets at Vicksburg off East Clay Street. Walmart will stay open until 8 tonight, Kurtz said.

Contact Ben Bryant at