ELLSWORTH — Forget about a snowy white Christmas; it was more of a bright green one this year thanks to unseasonably warm weather.
Local retailers were also seeing green this holiday season, with some businesses reporting normal or above average sales numbers, since Christmas shoppers weren’t hindered by poor road conditions or power outages.
Rooster Brother in Ellsworth had its busiest day of the year two days before Christmas.
“From Thanksgiving to Christmas we were up, not a tremendous amount, but up from last year,” said co-owner Pamela Elias. “I assume it’s both the lower cost of fuel and the weather, since we didn’t have to be closed at all for any weather-related reasons.”
The Rock & Art Shop celebrated its first Christmas at the Main Street location with a good shopping season.
“This was our very first year in Ellsworth, and we had a projected amount for what we needed to keep the doors open and we definitely met that, which was nice,” said co-owner Annette Sohns Dodd. “It made for a good season.”
At Union River Book & Toy Co., owner Michael Curtis said he had a Christmas season about equal to last year, but that he noticed many more last-minute shoppers.
“I noticed that [the shopping] was spread out,” he said. “There was no urgency because of the weather, and there were more people putting things off until the last minute.”
Renys on High Street also caught many last-minute shoppers.
“We have seen [a sales] increase from last year,” said John Reny, co-owner of the franchise. “We had a very strong Christmas, especially the four days before were just super strong.”
Reny said outerwear sales were off from previous years, but that “people knew what was coming.”
“We really work hard, and our people in Ellsworth did a great job,” he said. “We push our customer service every day of the year, and so that really helps at the end [right before Christmas] when people come in and don’t have a clue what to get.”
Although there was no snow for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, shoppers were still coming into Cadillac Mountain Sports in Ellsworth to prepare for snowy activity.
“We noticed the big word this year was ‘practical,’” said store manager Kelly Cochran. “People were really looking for something that would be practical, whether it was snowshoes or something for traction.”
She said that the store sold plenty of cross-country skis, ice skates and fat bikes that were wrapped for opening up on Christmas morning.
“We did find that a lot of our customers knew [the snow] was coming eventually,” Cochran said.
Not all retailers had a holly jolly Christmas. At J&B Atlantic Co., sales were down over the holidays.
“It’s been a very difficult season for us,” said manager Aziza Daigle.
She believes that vacant Main Street storefronts have contributed to weak sales. Despite a good number of Christmas shoppers, sales were down “significantly.”
“We had a good Christmas week, but still comparatively from last year, we are down,” Daigle said. “But we know how the first of the year goes. We will be here.”