Where real estate goes, retail follows. That's the unsurprising, but harsh lesson of 2009, especially for home furnishing stores, who saw an almost 12% drop in sales. However, the Times took a recent survey of the retail landscape and found things weren't all bad. Signs of life popped up around the country, including Homenature in Southampton, which reported an increase in furniture sales, despite the decline of decorator business. Owner John Heilmann attributes the dichotomy to the DIY mentality currently en vogue in the Hamptons. His biggest seller: a $25 Peace Sign Doormat. One thing that didn't move? Vintage 1970's glasses (pictured above) with a male-friendly twist. “Once you put cold water in these, the women 'lose' their clothes. I thought these would be a hysterical gift for a guy, and a lot of people picked them up, but nobody bought them."
· Best Sellers and Bombs, and What Stores Hope Will Lure You Back [NYTimes]