Starting this evening, holiday shoppers will have some extra hours every Thursday to check a few items off their Christmas list. That’s because many merchants in the Depot District will be staying open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, with the exception of Thanksgiving.

 “We realize that most of the people in the Ardmore area work and we want to give them the opportunity to come downtown to shop when it’s convenient for them,” said Jeff DiMiceli, general manager of the Ardmore Main Street Authority. 

 He went on to give some statistics about shopping which explained the reasoning behind the later hours. In fact, 75 percent of all retail purchases take place between 4 p.m. and midnight, and 70 percent of all consumer retail spending in brick and mortar stores occurs after 6 p.m. 

“Especially with Christmas coming up, we want people to come down and take advantage of everything we have to offer,” DiMiceli said. “And of course all of the restaurants will be open, so people can make an entire evening out of it.”

The after-work shopping excursions will also be an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the many other holiday promotions occurring in the Depot District. For example, people have until the end of business on November 21 to take part in the Reindeer Stampede. 

“It’s a kind of pre-holiday promotion that we’re doing,” DiMiceli said. “Basically, people can come and shop downtown and get their game card stamped at the different stores. When they get done shopping they put them into the drawing boxes.”

32 different downtown businesses are participating and while DiMiceli said that while customers do not have to go to every single store, they are encouraged to get as many stamps as they can.

“Then we will draw for three really good gift baskets that are full of things that can be used as Christmas gifts,” DiMiceli said. “The gift baskets will contain everything from gift certificates to various stores downtown to some really nice prizes.” 

After the Reindeer Stampede ends, Main Street’s Holly Jolly Shopping Days will begin on Black Friday and run through Thursday, Dec. 20. In this promotion, shoppers will receive one ballot for every $20 spent at participating Depot District businesses. Then a drawing is held on Dec. 21 for “Depot Dollars” in the amounts of $1,000, $750, and $500.

“One Depot Dollar equals $1,” DiMiceli said. “They can spend them right away or they can hold them and use until June 30, 2019. Our main thing is we want people to come down here and check out everything downtown has to offer.”

Businesses that will be open on Thursdays until 7 p.m. are Antiques Etc., Ardmore Emporium, Dunn & Co., Eileen’s Colossal Cookies, Main Street Mercantile, Marvin’s Place, Moments to Remember, The Pocket Shop, Ray-Ward Fine Jewelers, The Rage and The Stag.