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Merchants all smiles over Sidewalk Sales

July 17, 2018 GMT

GREENWICH — The 2018 Sidewalk Sale Days beat last year’s in terms of sales, traffic and weather, Chamber of Commerce and merchants reported.

Hundreds of local and tri-state-area shoppers flocked to Greenwich Avenue Thursday through Sunday for its annual Sidewalk Sale Days, a tradition that dates back decades.

This year, merchants reported their highest numbers came on Thursday or Saturday, but a relatively even distribution of customers each day lessened the event’s notorious congestion and limited parking. Fairer weather also helped to draw large crowds.

“It seemed so in control this year,” Chamber of Commerce President Marcia O’Kane said. “This is a very big event, over four days, and invariably you can expect a complaint, but we honestly did not hear one.”

Parking was a bigger issue last year, she said. People had to circle the downtown area multiple times to find a space, she remembered.

“At this point, people understand where various parking lots around central Greenwich are,” she said.

The Chamber instructs merchants to tell their employees to use town lots instead of the avenue, and this year, they did, O’Kane said.

Splurge, a local store that specializes in small gifts, moved almost 1,800 pieces of merchandise, Owner Sonia Malloy said.

Saturday brought the most clients to the shop, she said. Thursday and Saturday were the heaviest days as early birds took advantage of the best deals and selections Thursday and people who only had time on the weekend came Saturday, Malloy said.

“Overall, the sale was definitely stronger this year than last year,” Malloy said. “I would attribute that to the weather: it wasn’t oppressively hot and we didn’t have thunderstorms I think that brought people out who might otherwise stay home.”

Splurge still has some merchandise that is marked down at half-price or better, she added.

Kristin Hering, owner of J.McLaughlin clothing store, said Wednesday (when the store had an early sale), Thursday and Friday each beat weekend numbers.

The store also beat last year’s numbers, she said, which she said could be attributed to the weather and the clothier’s assortment of products.

Or, it could have been the prosecco Hering served her hot and tired clients.

“People loved it,” she said. “It always changes the energy and lifts people up again.”

The vibe was positive, the weather was spectacular and it was a fun event for the community, O’Kane said.

But, it’s really all about the stores — many of which are already planning for next year, she said.

“As long as the stores are happy, I’m happy,” O’Kane said. “The stores seem to be very happy with their results.”