Pike County’s downtown districts appeal to shoppers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Features Editor

The traditional carols of Christmas don’t mention much about shopping, but the more modern holiday music does hint at it at times.

However, the interesting thing is most Christmas songs mention "downtown" shopping, which is a throwback to an old-fashioned Christmas.

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With the introduction of strip malls, super enclosed malls, and discount chain stores that

carry everything except new automobiles, the number of downtown shoppers have dwindled in most towns and cities.

But, Pike County is unique. The downtown areas in Troy and Brundidge are alive and well, and those who take advantage of small town, downtown shopping are in for a real treat, real savings and a real old-fashioned Christmas shopping experience, said Kate Taylor, president of the Brundidge Business Association.

"The best thing about downtown shopping is the personal service you get," Taylor said. "Most of the owners are in the store and most of them know their customers by first name, and some of them know their children and grandchildren. It’s that way with clerks, too. And, those who come from out of town to shop are treated with the same kind of personal service given to neighbors and friends."

Brundidge is a Main Street town and shoppers can park and walk leisurely from one store to the other, window shopping along the way and dropping in on a variety of shops.

"Brundidge is a unique shopping experience, first, because most of the stores are located in a one block vicinity," Taylor said. "We have some of the greatest gift items anywhere. Our hardware carries gifts, as do our drug stores. The floral arts shops have beautiful arrangements and gifts and we have several antique shops that offer opportunities to buy one-of-a-kind items you won’t find anywhere else. Shopping in Brundidge is Christmas shopping at its best.

"There is very little that you can’t get in Brundidge. We have discount stores that have a good selection of toys, clothing items and almost everything larger discount stores carry."

Taylor invites shoppers to experience Brundidge during the last few shopping days before Christmas.

"Even if you’ve done most of you Christmas shopping, being in town, visiting with friends and neighbors and browsing the shops will give you the feeling of an old-fashioned Christmas when people weren’t in a hurry to get somewhere else. They were just enjoying the spirit of the holiday season."

Sheer Qualls, a member of Troy’s Downtown Revitalization Committee agreed that Pike County offers a unique shopping experience and Troy is reminiscent of days gone by when many towns were "on the square."

Qualls said shopping "on the square" brings back fond memories of Troy when the square was Troy.

"One good thing about shopping downtown is that you are trading with people you trust," Qualls said. "If you buy something and there is a problem with the item, you know where to go to get it worked out. You also are shopping along with neighbors and friends in familiar and comfortable surroundings. That makes for a pleasant shopping experience."

And, dollar wise, shopping at home makes good sense, Qualls said.

"When you shop at home, you save travel time and the money you would spend on gas and travel," he said. "But, what is so important about shopping at home, is that your tax dollars stay at home to benefit the community where you live instead of supporting the government of another town."

Like Taylor, Qualls encourages shoppers to shop at home during the remaining shopping days before Christmas. Doing so makes home a better place to live and work.