Christmas tree sales are steady, despite ailing economy

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The still-struggling economy has retailers a little concerned about how much consumers will spend on Christmas gifts this year. But what about the sale of Christmas trees?

It's a fixture on Eisenhower Drive near the mall each holiday season. The Christmas tree lot is loaded with firs and blue spruce.

Karen Ledkins said despite the ailing economy, sales are steady.

"The economy is not real great, but Christmas tree sales have been basically about the same as last year," said Ledkins.

She said while some folks may choose to downsize and buy a smaller, less expensive tree, they're still buying nonetheless.

"Everybody wants to celebrate Christmas. Even if the economy is bad and times are hard, it's a special time of the year," she added.

Lloyd and Meredith Anderson found just the right tree at Robert Anderson's tree lot at Cedar Lake and Popp's Ferry. They said the state of the economy wasn't a factor in their buying decision.

"No, not really. Christmas just comes around once a year," said a smiling Lloyd Anderson, who let his wife pick out the tree.

Business under the big tent has been good so far and promises to pick up as Christmas gets closer.

"It's been pretty steady. I think a little better than last year. Not much better, but pretty good," said tree vendor George Mitchell.

Concerns about the economy did prompt Robert Anderson to carry a larger assortment of smaller trees this year; a move that's paying off.

"Yeah, we ordered a lot more smaller trees than in the previous years. And it's been pretty good. We've got another truck coming in tomorrow, so it's been pretty good," said Mitchell.

The smallest trees are priced at around $40. The largest size can run well over $100.

The Christmas tree lots will remain open until around December 20, or until all the trees are gone.

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