Conway promotes Christmas shopping to revitalize downtown

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The City of Conway held it's annual living Christmas displays Thursday evening, attempting to bring more shoppers out to the historic downtown district for some holiday shopping.

"Something like tonight will bring people out and really get them into the spirit," said Debbie Stephens, owner of the successful specialty shop Bodega.

Stephens has run the store on Third Street since 2005, she's seen some stores come and go in the area.

"Sometimes you try things that just don't pan out," she said.

Among the district, several empty storefronts peek out amid the stores decorated for Christmas. Nicole Moore, owner of Gypsy Boutique, says it's less about what wouldn't work in Conway, and more about how the stores that don't make it are run.

"The best advice I can give is have a plan," Moore said.

Younger shoppers say the rustic feel of Conway's downtown has great potential, but haven't yet found a draw that would keep them away from the beach.

"It's so cute, but it just needs something else," said CCU student Kirsten Haines. "You're so close to a college, you could have little restaurants and cafes with college specials."

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