EDITOR’S NOTE: The Kittanning Paper is featuring our third installment of area businesses this week as we look at shopping trends in Armstrong County. Today, we look at the 700 Shop in Kittanning and T&J Floral in Ford City.
When you find a clothier that has weathered the economic changes of a small town for 35 years, there must be some secrets.
You won’t be strolling in Turney Luke’s 700 Shop on Market Street. There isn’t room for a stroll. Merchandise is stacked from floor to ceiling with just the minimum room for walking between the racks.
Luke said there isn’t just one item selling in his store this Christmas season.
“There’s more than one. Armstrong River Hawks items of all kinds. A lot of people buy tee-shirts. If it’s snowing, we sell a lot of boots and coats. We sell a lot of hats – either tassel caps or Stormy Kromer caps.
“People say they don’t buy shirts and ties anymore, but we sell a lot of them.”
Luke said there is one item that makes a great stocking stuffer… socks!
“We probably sell over 800 pairs of socks during the month of December. We sell a little bit better of socks, so people still want a quality sock. There is a lot of junk stuff out there but we don’t sell that type.”
Luke said he still offers to wrap purchases for free, although it cost him several thousand dollars per year for boxes, wrapping paper, and accessories.
He said it is something people expect and want – personalized service.
A few miles down the road, the owner of T&J Floral was not available. But workers who wished to not be identified said that TeleFloral orders have increased this year. These are orders placed through other vendors for flowers delivered to middle Armstrong County area.
In addition to standard flower arrangements, there appeared to be a big push for unique assortments of mixing fresh-cut flowers with artificial arrangements.
Window box winter arrangements were also popular.