December was a lucrative month for Ardmore merchants. According to statistics issued by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, retail sales totaled $52.8 million for the month — an increase of more than 3.5 percent from December 2017.

One example of this growth is the success of Holly Jolly Shopping Days. Thirty-one downtown retailers participated in the promotion, and for every $20 spent a customer was issued one entry into a drawing for Depot Dollars. The Depot Dollars could then be spent at a wide variety of downtown businesses.

Ardmore Main Street Authority General Manager Jeff DiMiceli said the promotion was a smashing success.

“I knew we had more entries than we had last year, but I didn’t know the total until last night,” DiMiceli said Monday afternoon. “We ended up having 20,591 entries, and that amounts to $411,820.”

This more than doubles the amount of entries received in 2017.

“Last year, it was about two weeks shorter, but we had right at $200,000 in sales,” DiMiceli said. He went on to say that there were seven new businesses that participated this year.

DiMiceli said extended store hours also helped drive December sales. In the month leading up to Christmas many downtown shops stayed open until 7 p.m. every Thursday. He said many of the merchants are now planning to have extended Thursday hours year round.

“The feedback I’m getting now is they’re wanting to do two Thursday nights a month,” DiMiceli said. “We’re also planning to have feature nights along with that. So maybe once a month, we’ll have something special going on that will make it even more interesting to come downtown and shop.”

DiMiceli said downtown is a busy place, and he hinted at more to come in the future.

“I just think we’re on the verge of some incredible things happening,” DiMiceli said. “I think it was reflected in Holly Jolly, but I think it’s going to be emphasized even more once we get our plans in place and start working towards our new goal.”

“We’ve got lots happening,” DiMiceli said.