Did small coast retailers make a profit during Christmas? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Did small coast retailers make a profit during Christmas?


Two weeks after the Christmas shopping season ended, small business owners have now had the chance to tally up the results. Was the season a financial success, or more Grinch like?

At Shelton Jewelers, there were high hopes for a sparkling shopping season. While it was decent, it could have been better.  Higher priced items stayed on the shelves. 

"It was pretty steady," Store Manager Jessica Treigle said of business. "We were really busy leading up into the month, but we really expected us to be a little bit busier with higher ticket sales at Christmas time. We really didn't see that."

It was much the same story at Chandeleur Outfitters. Business was up a bit, but one thing held customers back. 

"Many, many people were not spending as much and they were worried about the economy, thinking about saving their money, putting it towards not just expensive gifts," Owner Carla Recio said.

While most of the small business owners that I talked to are reporting flat sales when comparing this year to last during the holiday, others reported significant gains. And they attribute those gains to some basic business beliefs. 

Katie Hinkel owns Lee Tracy, where business was up a whopping 19 percent this year. 

"We really get to know our customers and know what they are looking for, so we have a really good merchandise mix and we bring all of that together along with a lot of marketing on Facebook to bring people in," Hinkel explained. 

At Poppy's on Porter, it was also a jolly holiday season, according to Owner Gayle Jones.

"It was actually much better than I expected. We had a wonderful Christmas season," Jones recalled.  "My customers came out and supported us. We were up well for Christmas and therefore we ended up having our best year ever since I bought Poppy's four years ago." 

Store owners also say shop at home campaigns in coast cities also helped the Christmas time bottom line. 

Nationwide, retail sales grew a scant seven tenths of one percent over the same period last year. Most economists had predicted an increase of three to four percent.

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