Ocean Springs businesses psyched about Cyber Monday

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - "It turned out really pretty with the white and the gold," Michelle Gregory commented as she wrapped a basket filled with chocolates.

The "Candy Cottage" in downtown Ocean Springs relies on foot traffic for half its business. The other half comes from orders over the Internet.

"It's a big part, especially during the holidays," said Gregory. "It helps a lot of our customers not have to fight the traffic and stores, not have to call and repeat everything."

The family-owned candy store started selling online 17 years ago. Since then, more and more people from all over the world are ordering pralines, fudge, and famous pecan logs from South Mississippi.

"I had 83 different orders that I've sent out in the past two months. One order had 61 different addresses, and another order had 650 addresses," said Gregory.

Popular prints from local artist Walter Anderson are also being shipped to various destinations.

"This one is going to Columbus, MS," said Ceily Uram, Assistant Manager of Realizations.

The Ocean Springs shop has seen a huge jump in online sales.

"In 2002, the full year, they made $18,000. So far this year, we've made $43,000. That's just online sales," said Uram.

Holiday orders are coming in daily.

"Christmas, yeah, it's picked up in the last couple of weeks," said Uram.

Although the economy has soured, those businesses expect holiday sales to remain sweet.

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 80-percent of retailers offered special promotions online today. That's up from last year.