Victoria (left) and Giavanna Scarafiotti shop for gifts for family members Monday at the Main Street Crafters Mall. Victoria, who lives in Grants, was visiting her sister Giavanna, a junior at Eastern New Mexico University. CNJ photo: Rick White.
By Darrell Todd Maurina
While most of the new businesses coming to Clovis recently have located on North Prince Street, the owners of Clovis’ older businesses downtown said the new stores haven’t cut into their holiday shopping traffic.
“Our Christmas business is excellent right now,” said Paul Tankersley, vice-president of Tankersley’s men’s clothing store on Main Street. “Clovis isn’t so big that people can’t get around.”
Founded by his father Homer Tankersley in 1961, the store was once among five that sold men’s clothing downtown. Tankersley said his family’s business has survived because it seeks to provide good service.
“We have a commitment to serving our customers and filling a need: people who enjoy wearing nice clothes, people who like to he helped in putting their wardrobe together,” Tankersley said. “That’s what we do best. I’ve been doing it for 33 years, I ought to have a clue.”
Randy Dayhoff, owner of Dayhoff Shoes, said his after-Thanksgiving sales were also good but he doesn’t expect his business to really pick up for a few weeks.
While large shoe stores may offer low prices, Dayhoff said he works to make sure the shoes his customers buy are what they need, and the company has been trying to do so since it was founded by his father in 1954.
“I feel it helps fulfill people’s needs for shoes,” Dayhoff said. “We do special ordering, work boots for people as well.”
The owner of Main Street Crafters Mall said her 60 vendors sell many items that can be given as Christmas presents, even with all the new businesses opening on Prince Street.
“It doesn’t seem to have affected our businesses at all,” said Anna Powell. “(Customers) say the store is really unique and there’s lots of stuff to pick from.”
Powell said some of the best-selling items have included wind divas, flower setters, quilts, and Americana items such as classic Coca-Cola pieces.
“There is so much stuff here, a lot of collectors items and different, unique pieces,” Powell said.
Not all the downtown businesses cater to a holiday crowd, but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing well.
Norma Patterson of Ealy Furniture said her mother began the business in 1939 and the business is doing well, but doesn’t see a large boost in sales during Christmas.
“December is not a big sales month for us, but there will be small items sold,” Patterson said. “Somebody may want a sofa, others may want another item.
“We’re the oldest furniture store in town, and we have a lot of repeat customers. We also have in-house financing, which a lot of people appreciate.”
Marjorie Noble of Freeman’s Bridal Shop and Formal Wear said that for the 28 years she’s owned the shop, her business has tended to be strongest after Christmas.
“This is not the time; people are not going to come in and buy a Christmas gift from us very often, though we wish they would,” Noble said. “After the holiday season, people start working on weddings, proms, that kind of thing.”
Despite the fact that most of the new businesses have located outside downtown, Tankersley said he thinks downtown businesses have a good future.
“We’re optimistic about our community,” Tankersley said. “While we recognize, as everyone else does, that we have lots of needs in our community, Clovis is still a nice place to live and do business.”