The days before Christmas: a look inside one business
For those in the business of selling gifts, this is go time. At The Woods in Maple Grove, the biggest days of the year are the 10 days before Christmas. 

Since 1997, The Woods has been a go-to place for holiday gifts of all varieties, including WoodWick candles, the store's number one most popular item.

"All the the WoodWick candles have a wood wick, and when you light them, it gives the sound of a fireplace, crackling in the winter," said Dave Looney, co-owner of The Woods.

For shop owners, Looney and his wife, Linda, the ten days before Christmas is a high stakes match much like the Super Bowl.

"It is go big or go home. Yes, it's important," said Looney.

Livelihoods depend on a good Christmas season when you consider the sales made at The Woods in the 10 days before Christmas traditionally surpass the total sales for January, February, March and part of April combined. And yes, it can all hinge on the weather.

"Last year, during the busiest time, we had two snowfalls, and extremely cold weather in the middle of December," said Looney about down sales in 2016. "This year, it's been absolutely beautiful, and business has been very good."

For all 20 of its years in Maple Grove, The Woods gift store has been a favorite for Tom Studiner and his wife, who always make a stop on their way up north.

"It seems like they just have a wide variety of unique stuff that you can't find at other places," said Studiner. "It's fabulous when you walk in the front door and you kind of see some of those kind of sayings that represent our lifestyle."

Christmas business is big for this small business, and they believe this year will be a good season because it's not only weather that affects sales, but the Minnesota Vikings, too.

"Whenever the Vikings play, business is slow. The moment the game is over, boom, it hits," said Looney about sales. "It's a Super Bowl year."

The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales in November and December to increase 4 percent from 2016.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

December 18, 2017



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