John Kugle has stepped things up with his Door County Christmas store idea by locating this year at a major shopping destination, the Fox River Mall in Appleton.
Kugle has been operating the Door County Christmas concept at a Green Bay mall since 2014.
“The Bay Park Square Mall in Green Bay has been a great experience, but I was happy to find a spot at the Fox River Mall this year. It truly is a shopping destination,” Kugle said. “There’s nothing like Christmas money. People come in the store and stay sometimes an hour and come back three, four times buying gifts.”
The other difference this year is that instead of closing up shop after the holidays, the store will stay open through March. Kugle also intends to have arts and crafts events at the store on weekends through the winter.
“The truth is, I’m riding that Door County brand,” Kugle said. “People love the idea of Door County coming to them. When they see ‘Door County’ on the store, they have to come in and see what’s going on. They love to tell their stories of visiting Door County.”
And, of course, Door County businesses are able to sell their goods outside of the county.
Gage Meyer of Gage, Inc., in Fish Creek, is returning for his fourth year to sell in Kugle’s shop.
“He brings his Murano glass from Italy and sets up a presentation within the store. People love looking at and buying his stuff,” Kugle said.
“It’s a nice venue because you hit a lot of people in the Fox River Valley who don’t normally get up here for Christmas. That’s a really good time of the year for retail. John’s a fun guy to work with, so it’s worked out great for us.”
Kugle said he will also sell products from Wienke’s Farm Market and Queen Bee Handmade from Algoma.
“I’m reaching out to find more long-term Door County businesses that want to come down,” he said. “As Door County slows down, more businesses express interest in coming down, either for the long-term or for a special event. There’s really not a blueprint for what I do. I’m open to working out whatever works best for both parties.”
For more information, contact Kugle at 920.851.6567.