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Winston Salem Journal: Holiday stores, kiosks still adding to the mix

It’s a tradition for Brian Fazia and his wife, Betsy, to shop at Dewey’s seasonal stores during the holidays.

The couple lives in Salisbury but has family in Winston-Salem.

“We look forward to it,” Fazia said as he shopped recently at the Dewey’s kiosk in Hanes Mall. “We always have Moravian sugar cake, usually on Christmas morning.”

He said they love shopping at Dewey’s and “the hometown feeling that this bakery offers.”

Dewey’s has more than doubled its holiday stores this season. Its 2014 temporary stores total 45, compared with 21 in 2013.

This year we’ve opened more stores than ever before due to growing demand,” said B.J. Frentzel, vice president of operations for Dewey’s. “We have 45 holiday locations in cities across the state, including Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro.”

Some of the retailer’s temporary locations are fundraising stores that are operated by local nonprofit organizations and schools as a way to raise funds during the holidays.

“It’s a great way to give back to the communities we serve,” Frentzel said.

Some retailers, including Dewey’s and Hickory Farms, have opened holiday stores in shopping centers for years.

Temporary seasonal stores continue to be a trend at centers, according to the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association.

“Within the last 10 years and throughout the recession, folks chose to put their retail goods in a pop-up as opposed to a long-term lease space for various reasons,” said Christie Burris, a spokeswoman for the association.

Burris said that some merchants did this because they could not afford the overhead for a long length of time, and some simply wanted to test a new market, especially if they had never been in Winston-Salem or North Carolina.

She said that temporary stores are becoming an important element of the overall marketing mix at centers.

“Obviously, they are giving an influx of some rental income during the holiday season for those large shopping centers, but they are also drawing customers, especially if it is a retail brand that is not normally at that mall,” Burris said.

Once customers check out the seasonal stores, they will most likely “do a little more holiday shopping and try to cross things off their list,” she said.

Dewey’s has had a holiday store in Hanes Mall for the past five years. For the 2014 holiday season, the company has a kiosk and store.

Brandy Adams, Dewey’s general manager, said that Dewey’s Hanes Mall temporary locations have been some of it most successful holiday stores.

“It’s a prime holiday shopping destination for many people in town and in surrounding areas, and customers seem to love the convenience of stopping by while they’re doing their holiday shopping,” Adams said of the mall.

She said Dewey’s doesn’t release specific sales information, but said that the company’s holiday store sales at Hanes Mall and at its other holiday stores are up so far over the past few years.

“Our sales early in the season have been higher this year, which would indicate that more shoppers are hitting stores early in the season,” Adams said. “We also see traffic grows steadily in the weeks leading up to Christmas and always expect some last-minute shopping.”

At Hanes Mall, some holiday tenants start setting up in September, but the majority of them open in October and the first part of November. The mall’s 2014 lineup consists of more than 20 holiday tenants — stores and kiosks.

“We welcome back our holiday tenants each year to provide a better tenant mix while enhancing the holiday atmosphere throughout the mall,” said Sandra Rogness, assistant general manager at Hanes Mall.

Marketplace Mall on Peters Creek Parkway will offer the ‘Take Your Own Photos With Santa’ program from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 20, and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 at Marketplace.

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