Metro-East News

Last-minute shopping? Local stores open for special holiday hours

Last-minute holiday shopping underway in downtown Belleville

Downtown Belleville shop owners talk about the holiday shopping season and special holiday hours.
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Downtown Belleville shop owners talk about the holiday shopping season and special holiday hours.

Downtown shop owners said the icy weather that hit the metro-east last weekend put a dent in their holiday-shopping sales.

Those downtown shops — as well as big-box retailers — are keeping their doors open on Christmas Eve to accommodate gift-givers who may have had to stay at home during dangerous weather, or who may have procrastinated.

John Conkright, owner of Ben’s in downtown Belleville, said sales at his crafts and floral shop dropped off in December when icy, cold weather hit.

“When you lose sales in December, you don’t get them back,” Conkright said. “Overall sales were good, but not as good as we would have hoped for.”

November sales and sales on Small Business Saturday, however, were up this year, Conkright added.

The shopping day aimed at encouraging shoppers to buy local was one of the busiest days Conkright said he had seen since Beanie Babies were popular in the 1990s.

Andria Powell, owner of downtown boutique Circa, said business had picked up in the days before Christmas, after the winter storm.

“Customers are coming in for those last-minute gifts, but it seems like people are more leisurely, just taking their time,” Powell said.

Sales at Turned Treasures Gallery, a downtown shop that sells locally-made wooden items, increased from last year, the shop’s first year in business, said co-owner Laura Spelbring. Spelbring said increased traffic is starting to come from repeat customers and increased visibility in the community.

“People are starting to know we’re here,” Spelbring said, although the store “lost a weekend” to freezing temperatures and ice last weekend.

The Christkindlmarkt, in its third year, also helped drive shoppers to downtown businesses, said Dan Hamilton, manager of Keil’s Antiques and Gifts.

“People come from St. Louis and all over the area to shop at the market,” and the shoppers drift down the street to other stores, Hamilton said.

Even as rain came down Friday afternoon, families waited in line to see Santa on the last day of the Christkindlmarkt and frequented stores for last-minute gifts.

Katheryne Morschl, owner of Siostra, a Polish pottery and gift store, sold her wares at the downtown Christmas market for the second year in a row. Morschl’s permanent store is based in St. Charles, Mo.

“We started off wonderfully right after Thanksgiving,” Morschl said. “Losing the last weekend before Christmas was hard, but we’ve seen an upswing during the last-minute crunch.”

Kelsey Landis: 618-239-2110, @kelseylandis

Downtown shops (all closed Christmas Day)

Abe’s Gourmet Popcorn Shop will be open until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Ben’s will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and closed on New Year’s Day.

Circa will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Crystal & Spice Shop will be open Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Happy Hop Homebrew will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Olive Oil Marketplace will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Keil’s Antiques and Gifts will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, or later if it’s busy.

Peace by Piece will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Suzanne’s Missing Pieces will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Turned Treasures Gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The shop will be closed from Christmas through Jan. 2, though classes are still available.

Retail

Open on Christmas

Walgreens Belleville on Carlyle Avenue will be open until midnight Friday and from 8 a.m. to midnight Christmas Eve. The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. The Walgreens on Hartman Lane in Shiloh will be open until midnight Friday, and from 7 a.m. to midnight Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Walgreens on North Illinois Street in Swansea and on Cambridge Boulevard in O’Fallon will be open until midnight Friday, from 7 a.m to midnight Christmas Eve and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Day. Pharmacies in those stores will be closed on Christmas, however.

St. Clair Square Mall

The mall opened early at 8 a.m. Friday and will stay open until 11 p.m. Extended hours are also in place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, but the mall will close be closed for Christmas. The mall will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday for returns.

Kohl’s Fairview Heights

The Kohl’s in Fairview Heights will be open around-the-clock through 6 p.m. Christmas Eve. The store will be closed on Christmas Day.

Target

The Belleville Crossing Target will be open until midnight Friday and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve. The Fairview Heights and Shiloh stores will be open until midnight Friday and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Christmas Eve. The stores will be closed on Christmas Day.

Walmart

The Belleville, O’Fallon and Cahokia Walmart Supercenters will be open from midnight to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas.

Kmart

The Belleville Kmart will be open until 11 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve. The store will be closed on Christmas.

Grocery stores

ALDI Swansea

The ALDI store will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas. Open hours on New Year’s Eve will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the store will be closed on New Year’s Day.

Ruler Foods Belleville

Ruler Foods will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas. The store will be open regular hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Save-A-Lot Belleville

Save-A-Lot will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, the store will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and regular hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

Schnucks

The Belleville East, Belleville West and Swansea stores close at 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, will be closed Christmas Day and reopen at 7 a.m. Monday. The store closes at 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve and will open at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Shop ’n Save

The Belleville and Collinsville Shop ’n Save stores will be open from midnight until 5 p.m. Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, the store will be open until 8 p.m. and will reopen at 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.

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