Business picks up in Wilton Center
Spring has sprung in Wilton Center, where the Wilton Chamber of Commerce reports customer traffic on the rise after a tough winter.
“I have been talking with some of our member retailers and they indicated that after a long and challenging winter, traffic has picked up in April,” said Debra Hanson, executive director of the Chamber.
Those stores that indicated an uptick were Signature Style, Open House and B Chic, she said. All are hoping that when the warmer weather arrives the trend will continue.
Word of mouth about Wilton Center has apparently spread to the surrounding towns, said Erica Malhotra, owner of B Chic, which specializes in women’s denim.
She said she draws customers from Redding, Westport, Ridgefield, and other towns in Fairfield County, more so than before.
“It’s word of mouth. If you give good service, people say go into Wilton,” Malhotra said. “They come to the luncheonette next door, too. They come to the Signature Style store.”
The owner of Signature Style was not immediately available to comment, but Malhotra said she feels it is going to be a strong spring and summer. She is celebrating her 12th year in business, and has been frequently voted best jeans boutique in Fairfield County, so she has a reputation that draws customers.
“We’re seeing new clientele,” she said, and that’s a good sign.
At the Open House gift shop, across the street from B Chic, there’s been an uptick in sales of everything from candles to dresses.
“Clothing has been strong,” said manager Karen Turner. “People are tired of their winter clothing and they’re coming in to spruce up their outfits.”
Business is also looking up for the Wilton Hardware shop downtown. Owner Tom Sato said he can’t reveal sales figures, but in general, he’s doing well.
“We do hope it continues,” said Sato, who said last year’s first quarter was much slower.
The first quarter of 2018 had a lot of storms, including a few that knocked power out for several days in Wilton, and that was good for the hardware business, Sato said.
The Chamber is glad to hear that business is picking up for Wilton Center, said Hanson.
The Chamber has sponsored special events to help draw people to the town center and raise awareness of what it offers to those from out of town as well, she said.
“We have structured most of our events to attract potential customers to our town and encourage everyone to shop local. This supports our retailers and businesses to keep our community strong,” she said.