Wilton's Holiday Shopping Was All About Family

WILTON, Conn. – Wilton's holiday season was well-spent, according to shop owners.

For The Toy ChestChristmas 2011 was better than the previous few years. The shop is still doing a final inventory, “but I think we did very well,” owner Ann Lathrop said. And when she compares this past season to the 11 the store has been open, she said that it was pretty much on par.

But her sales were mostly about family. She said that she saw more families coming into her store on River Road looking for things they could all do together instead of purchasing "plastic toys with batteries kids will be done with in 15 minutes."

“I think families were looking for things that will last longer and that they can do together,” Lathrop said, attributing that trend to Hurricane Irene and the Halloween snow storm. After the two storms parents looked for things they could do without electricity. Lathrop said she saw an increase in the sale of board games.

Putting family first was the reason the Cosmetic Boutique did "okay," manager Melissa Caruso said.

“Wilton moms spend more on their kids than on themselves,” said Caruso, a Wilton resident who is also a registered nurse. “Once family and friends are taken care of, that’s when women start to think of themselves.”

The boutique's “sales were pretty even” between the Christmas season and the rest of the year, Caruso said. Most of the holiday sales came from men buying gift certificates, she added. “Women were not the No. 1 buyers.”

Caruso said she thinks January will be the slowest month yet and is looking forward to February, when women “start thinking about looking good” for Valentine’s Day. 

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