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Tree Sales Might Point to Economic Upturn

An uptick in Christmas trees sales across Fairfield County may prove to be an indicator that the economy is moving ahead.

“We sold 50,000 trees in our four stores and 16,000 in this store alone, which is up nicely from last year,” Stew Leonard Jr. said as he greeted customers in front of his Norwalk superstore.

Bill Allen, the Christmas manager at Stew Leonard’s , said, “People are spending a lot more on add-ons in addition to their tree, like wreathes and roping, and that adds up quickly.”

A similar report came from Ed Miro, who has been selling trees from New Brunswick, Canada, for 21 years at the Dairy Queen site in Fairfield.

“We’re definitely up this year over last,” said Miro as he loaded unsold trees on a truck to clear the lot. “We’ll be open until about 4 and close down for Christmas.”

A mile away at the Home Depot in Fairfield the tree lot was empty except for a couple of straggly little trees hoping to be taken.

Home Depot salesperson Nikeia stated, “We sold out about two days ago and just have some wreathes left.”

The story was the same at upscale Nielsen’s Garden Shop in Darien, where customers can have their tree   delivered and set up for a fee.

Dave Vacas of Rowayton has been selling trees and other items all season at Nielsen’s, and he was emphatic. “You wouldn’t know there was a recession by our sales this year.”

Maybe Christmas tree sales numbers should be added to the Fed’s list of economic indicators.

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