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Citrus mall offers holiday treats

Eleven shops, including a salon kiosk and several specialty food stores, open just for the season at the Crystal River Mall.

By GAIL HOLLENBECK
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 15, 2002


CRYSTAL RIVER -- With only 10 shopping days left before Christmas, the management at the Crystal River Mall is hoping consumers will spend some of their holiday dollars there.

And to bring customers in, the mall is taking some creative steps.

"Shoppers are visiting our mall to celebrate the holiday season like they've done in years past with the holiday traditions we have always cherished, such as listening to carolers, visiting with Santa and shopping for holiday gifts," said Alicia Beamer, the mall's area marketing director.

The mall also has some new entertainment attractions, such as a Power Jump ride and rock climbing wall, to attract customers.

In addition, shopping choices are expanding. For the holiday season, the mall is hosting 11 temporary shops.

One, Abitare Paris Salon and Day Spa, has been in Crystal River for 12 years. This year, owner Angela Maguffey-Johnson is offering a store in the Belk Lindsey concourse until Christmas Eve.

"We've traditionally offered gift certificates," Maguffey-Johnson said, "and this year we've added the gift card. The buyer can make it any denomination value they would like. That way the gift recipient can choose what they would like from the salon. The idea is not just pampering, but health as well. It's the stress management gift."

The store also has gift sets from Aveda. Gift cards are priced from $25.

Santa Snacks, also in the Belk concourse, offers gourmet goodies in decorative reusable gift boxes that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

"You won't find gift items like these in Kmart or Wal-Mart," owner Karen Dunlap said. "These are great gifts for teachers, co-workers and neighbors."

Boxes are filled with a selection of candy, cookies and biscuits. Gifts range from stocking stuffers to ceramic cookie jars, priced from $2.50 to $6.50. The store will be open until Christmas.

Sweet Temptations, in the JCPenney concourse, features homemade, hand-dipped chocolates. Fudge is cut to order, and all candy is sold by the piece at 8 cents and up, or by the pound.

Other fine candies, such as Jelly Belly and lollipops, are also sold there. Custom orders are available. The store will be open until February.

Day By Day, located in front of Waldenbooks, features 2003 calendars in a variety of forms, from small planners to box calendars to large wall calendars. Prices go up to $15. The store will be there until the first week of January.

Geppeddo's Dolls, in the Sears concourse, features beautiful collectible, porcelain, limited edition dolls, along with doll clothes and accessories. The store sells "My Way Babies" for $79.95. The customer can choose the doll's face, skin tone, eye color, hair color and style and sex.

Prices range from $5 for puppets to $159 for collectible dolls. Free UPS shipping is available on any purchase over $75. The store will be open through Jan. 26.

Hickory Farms is located next to Carlton Cards. The store offers gift-packaged specialty foods such as cheese, summer sausage and the famous beef stick. Gifts come in a variety of boxes and baskets and cost from $3.99 to about $100. Mustards, sauces and candy are also available. Items may be shipped from the store. The store will be open until the day after Christmas.

Bender's Photo Gifts, in the JCPenney concourse, features a variety of unique personalized photo gifts. Prices range from $4.95 to $17.95. The store will be open until Christmas.

The Tupperware Store features storage containers that range from $6 to about $40. Customers can order from a catalog there and items will be mailed or brought to their homes. The store, located in the Sears concourse, will be open until Dec. 29.

Wicks 'n Sticks, with its own storefront, specializes in scented candles, home fragrance products and decorative accessories, including some Christmas decorations. Specialty items include sculpted, wedding and baby candles. Prices range from $1.99 to $255. The store may be open through the end of January.

Tomahawk Trading Post features American Indian wares including blankets, artifacts and collectible items. Located in the JCPenney concourse, the store will be open until the beginning of January, possibly longer. Items range from $1 to as much as $1,000 for a painting.

Mikki's Jewelry, next to the trading post, offers sterling silver jewelry and semiprecious gemstones priced from $3 to $180. The store, which is usually at Howard's Flea Market, will be at the mall until the beginning of January, possibly longer.

Permanent new tenants at the mall include Audible Hearing Centers, offering free hearing consultations; Magic Twist & Cream, serving hand-rolled pretzels and Edy's ice cream; and Piercing Pagoda, specializing in ear piercing and a variety of rings and earrings.

My Gift Cottage has expanded to 4,175 square feet and now offers three times as much merchandise.

Photos with Santa are available until Dec. 24 in the JCPenney concourse.

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