November 23, 2012

Freeport shops chugging along with push from the Downeaster

The inaugural Moonlight Madness train brings shoppers and well-wishers to Freeport in the wee hours of Black Friday.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Joanne Weston of Dixfield purchases a jacket Friday at North Face in Freeport. Many of the Freeport stores opened at midnight on Friday with sales that brought a steady flow of customers.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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Shoppers roam through the LL Bean campus on Friday after many of the stores in Freeport opened for business at midnight.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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Shoppers who arrived in town by more traditional means gathered at the depot to join the fun.

Jim Demetropoulos, owner of Island Treasure Toys in Freeport and Yarmouth, loves the idea of a shopping train. Back in the day, when passenger rail service was previously available in Freeport, he took the train with his mother to visit his grandmother.

"The train is different. The station is different. But the memories are the same," said Demetropoulos, who waited with stacks of coupons to his Freeport store, where the biggest selling toys have been Spy Gear toys and accessories, as well as play tents.

"A lot of merchants think this will be a big thing. It may take a couple of years to get into the full swing. But hopefully it will take off," he said.

Chris Cummings, manager of Mexicali Blues, agreed.

"I believe that the ability of people to ride the train and come into town certainly helps," Cummings said. "We opened just before midnight -- there were a lot of people on the street and there was plenty of excitement.

"Our midnight business seems to be growing, but the extra promotions seemed to help," he said.

Another Freeport store, Sea Bags, opened from midnight until 4 a.m and then reopened at 8 a.m.

"There was a line out the store last night," said Sea Bags employee Rob McCarthy.

The store's best seller was its "anchor tote," he said.

Freeport's promotional festivities looked pretty appealing from a shopper's perspective, too.

"I think it's unbelievable what they're doing," said Kathy Parker of Durham.

She was driving home from a holiday in New Hampshire and decided to stop in Freeport "to see what's happening. It's wonderful that Freeport has a lot of attractions that even the locals can enjoy. I'm just amazed with this town."

Shilo Mathieu and her friend Amanda Leclerc drove over from Greene. They're veteran Black Friday shoppers.

"We usually go to Walmart and those places, but we wanted something different this year," Mathieu said. "We've moved on from electronics. We're looking for clothes for our teenage daughters."

"We want to see Santa and get some coupons," said Leclerc.

They scored on both counts. Santa Claus arrived on time, and merchants showered them with savings.

"It's a great way to get in the holiday spirit," Leclerc said.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

bkeyes@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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Shoppers pass by a store window on Main Street early Friday morning in Freeport.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

  


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