Businesses get the gift of sales

The gift of strong sales came to La Cañada Flintridge’s business community this holiday season, as several local businesses reported sales that matched or exceeded last year’s.

While lines testified to customers from across the Southland being drawn to Sport Chalet, other local businesses reported that they were seeing residents of La Cañada and nearby cities come in to do their shopping close to home.

Peter Wannier, who co-owns Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse with his wife Lenora, said that this year’s sales were an improvement on last year’s. He said that he noticed more activity throughout the city’s business core.

“Sales are picking up,” he said. “We did very well; I think that we’ve had a lot of support from the community,” he said. “People really like the idea that they can come to the center of La Cañada Flintridge and shop. That’s a statement in itself.”

Wannier said he thought that the increased activity in the center of town was a boon for his business, and that it could only help during the holiday sales season.

“The center of La Cañada is slowly getting … well, I’m getting more upbeat on the whole thing,” he said. “I mean, stores are filling up, there’s been reconstruction in the center, I think it’s become a more attractive place and our sales do reflect that.”

Peggy Stevens, owner of the Apple Cart, which is located about a mile west of Flintridge Bookstore on Foothill Boulevard, said that sales were also strong at her business.

“Sales are really good, they’re about the same as last year … but we never have a bad Christmas, we have really loyal customers,” she said.

Stevens said that her sales were typical for this time of year because of her store’s connection to the community. “We usually have a great November and December because we really have a loyal fan base,” she said.

Wannier said he definitely thinks that residents were getting more acclimated to doing retail shopping close to home, where they can find unique offerings.

“All year long our sales have been up, so it isn’t only the Christmas season; our new improved facilities are a draw,” Wannier said. “We have a whole side section with high-quality things, I think, not the kinds of things you always see in big box stores.”

La Crescenta resident Rick Peterson, who was shopping for Christmas gifts in the Apple Cart on Dec. 23, said that he enjoys shopping in the area and would be heading further into town to other stores as well.

“I try and shop local,” he said. “It puts money back where we live.”

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