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Brandy Wilkey packs up remaining inventory, at Mudpies and Flutterbuys in Dayton, Tenn., which has closed. Photo by Kimberly McMillian

DAYTON, Tenn. - Christmas sales were steady for some downtown Dayton retailers, though two neighboring businesses along Market Street bid farewell as the year ended.

Bill Harrison, owner of Mudpies and Flutterbuys, an outlet store, said there were multiple reasons behind his decision to close, but one factor was that he couldn't "get merchandise from the warehouse" he had used for purchasing his core products.

Harrison also said difficulty finding the manpower to run his family's business had contributed to the store's closure. His wife Maria, who had owned and maintained the store, died in July 2011.

And last week the owners of Mansfield's Diner cleared out their furnishings as their neighbors held year-end clearances and made plans for 2012.

The phone number for the diner has been disconnected, and the owners could not be reached for comment.

Other retailers have downsized in order to maintain their businesses without the sole responsibility of renting or leasing.

Sweet Art Cakes owner Becky White moved her decorating business inside ArtCrafters to meet customers and deliver her specialty treats.

Dennis Knappen, co-owner of ArtCrafters for more than two years, said White's business "fits our mission" of incorporating local artisans and displaying their crafts.

Knappen said that he hadn't compared this season's Christmas sales to the year before, but that they were "very good" and had left him encouraged for the new year.

Media Vault, a specialty store that buys and trades retro videos, games and gaming systems, was a fourth-quarter addition along Market Street in 2011.

Richard Jordan, the store's owner, said sales had exceeded his expectations, and he credited MainStreet Dayton's Holiday Stroll and Christmas parade events with helping his debut months.

Jordan said his inventory had taken "a big hit" during the holiday season and that his sales had grown weekly since he opened in September.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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