With just 12 shopping days left before Christmas, a group of downtown York specialty and gift shops promised free beer and appetizers Wednesday in the hope of drawing men inside to shop for their favorite ladies.
"Our main customer is female," said Caroline Morris, owner of Kimman's at the corner of North Beaver and West Philadelphia streets, adding men also visit her specialty gift shop.
But Morris and other business owners came up with the Men's Night Out promotion to attract more men into the store by making it easier and more comfortable for men to shop in what is a more female-oriented domain.
For the men who came, the idea seemed to work.
While shopping at Sweet Melissa's Dream, Jim Gleba, 41 of Spring Garden Township, said he normally shops downtown but an email from his wife, Karen, reminded him to visit the shops on the block Wednesday.
He said his wife usually does most of the family's Christmas shopping -- "I'm lucky that she usually takes care of that," he said -- so that the only person left on his list is his wife.
Shop owner Melissa Grove made a list of things she knows Gleba's wife would be interested in, which helped him decide what to get.
Mark Broomell, 45 of Manchester Township, said he usually shops at Park Street Pantry, another of the participating stores on North Beaver Street, but the free beer samples "just made it that much more of an event."
Broomell was shopping for Colleen Dwyer, who left some ideas with shop co-owner Beth Bulik.
"When I walked in, they already knew what I wanted," he said.
Broomell, who described himself as a "practical person" and "more of a problem solver," said holiday shopping is stressful because he has to slow down from his normally busy pace and think about people around him "and what they might like."
Shop owners said the promotion generated more foot traffic than they would normally see on a Wednesday night.
"Being the first year, it's what I expected," Grove said, adding the shop owners will continue to build on the event.Also of interest