Valentine sales slow on Main Street in Columbiana

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Valentine’s Day is a day for flowers and gifts.

However, the story in Columbiana appears to be that downtown sales were slow this year.

Susan Conn of Main Street Florist said things were pretty slow on Saturday, but went pretty well on Friday with call-in customers. Still, she said, overall sales for Valentine’s Day were slow.

&uot;Nobody could see anything we had,&uot;

Conn said of her Main Street Columbiana shop. She also said newly installed sidewalks on Main Street did not help.

&uot;If anything our business is less now than it has been as far as walk-in (traffic),&uot; Conn said.

Looking on the bright side, however, Conn said, &uot;But if we can survive until they get the street back, I guess we’ll manage.&uot;

Conn said businesses have been promised many things, but it appears the street won’t be open until May or June.

According to Mayor Allan Lowe, the original completion date goal for the downtown renovation project was in time for Liberty Day which is held each June.

While Shawn Lipscomb, owner of the Punkin’ Patch, said her store did not have a lot of sales for Valentine’s Day, it was about as much as usual. However, she said she has noticed that Easter sales, which she said usually begin Feb. 1, are lagging behind.

&uot;I’ve just had a few of my regular out-of-town customers call and say it is difficult for them to come around town from Alabaster or Calera, especially with children and strollers.&uot;

She said if the customers park across the street, it is difficult for them to cross the street without pedestrian crossways. She also noted that the newly installed sidewalks don’t go all the way to corners of the street.

Cindy Smith, owner of Blue Heron, said Valentine sales were average. But she pointed out that she is on the same side of Main Street as Davis Drug and that her customers can use the back entrance.

Gail Coleman, owner of Gail’s Florist, said she felt sure downtown renovation construction affected her business &uot;because this is the first time since I’ve been in business (17 years) we did not have more than five walk-ins.&uot;

However, Coleman stressed: &uot;I don’t want to sound negative. Once it is over, I feel sure it will be better.&uot;