Shopkeepers end a great holiday weekend

Lisa Dunlap Photo Melissa Gilcrease, left, and Lisa Janssen, retired insurance agents, say the recent holiday shopping weekend was the best since Sisters’ Shed opened on South Sunset Avenue in early September .

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

If the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday experiences of some local retailers tell the story, this year’s holiday shopping season should be good.

Store owners and managers said sales were strong and customers seemed to be eager to shop and ready to spend for the upcoming holiday season.

“These are the best days we’ve had since opening,” Lisa Janssen said of Friday and Saturday which are traditionally considered the start of Christmas shopping and the winter break.

Janssen and her sister, Melissa Gilcrease, run Sisters’ Shed on South Sunset Avenue, which sells collectibles and gifts and provides space for vendors to sell antique items such as furniture, vintage wedding dresses and clothing. glassware.

The sisters, former insurance agents, opened their business in September on Labor Day.

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“We had a beautiful Friday. Saturday was good too, ”said Janssen, who added that she was optimistic about sales for the remainder of the season.

Good buyer participation and sales reported by a sample of local retailers surveyed are in line with national retail results data from Thanksgiving to Cyber ​​Monday.

According to the National Retail Federation, adult shoppers participating in its national survey reported 104.9 million shoppers for those five days, up from 92.3 million in 2020. Online shoppers declined to 127.8 million from 145, 4 million in 2020.

The national group also reported that Black Friday remains the most popular shopping day of the weekend, with 66.5 million shoppers. About 51 million people shopped from small businesses on Saturdays.

The trend in recent years nationally has been for people to start their holiday shopping earlier, before Thanksgiving, but the days after Thanksgiving remain popular among American consumers.

Most local retailers have also found that the Friday after Thanksgiving draws the biggest crowds in person.

“Black Friday went really well,” said Heather Perez, director of Rugged Trade in South Main and West Walnut streets. “We had a lot of inbound and outbound traffic. “

Shop Small Saturday was “a little slow,” Perez said.

Rugged Trade, part of a New Mexico chain that opened in Roswell in October 2020, sells workwear, outerwear and accessories. It was unable to open for in-person shopping last year due to pandemic restrictions, so this is the first year the store has been open in Roswell for the holiday shopping weekend.

Perez, like most other retailers, said she expects sales for the remainder of the holiday, with the store open until December 23.

Terry Lindberg of Hippie Chicks, a boutique on South Main and Deming streets that primarily sells women’s and girls’ clothing and accessories, said she was relieved to have a good weekend after a rough patch last year. State regulations from April 2020 forced many small businesses to close in-person purchases in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including for Thanksgiving shopping weekend.

“These two days have been incredible. I was not disappointed at all, ”she said of last weekend. “People would go out and spend money. It wasn’t five years ago or two years ago, but it was still good.

In business for 18 years, one of the ways Lindberg has coped with the struggles of the pandemic has been to cede part of its retail space to another company, CS Designs.

This store, which opened four months ago, is owned by Cheyenne Sons, a graphic designer, and sells personalized engraved gifts.

She also said the weekend attracted a lot of customers.

“It was great. We had a lot of loyal customers and a lot of people who said they had heard from us and wanted to see us,” Sons said.

The company is able to engrave wood, glass and leather and create color patterns on certain white surfaces.

“I love hearing people’s stories and asking them to tell me what they want and then put that into something they care about,” she said.

While the “constant in and out” of customers over the weekend is nice to see, she said she also liked that people could once again experience shopping in stores for the holidays. .

“I think people liked to go out and shop for their loved ones. I really mean it, ”Sons said. “I think it gives people a sense of relaxation and peace to go out and do these things.”

The National Retail Federation said in its survey that retailers have adjusted to the effects of the pandemic on stores, and so have local retailers.

They said they had learned to expect shipping or storage delays on certain items and would supplement their merchandise with locally or US made products if necessary. They also learned how to use social media pages, websites, e-commerce sites, special customer invitations, and other ways to attract customers.

Jessica Burson, owner of The Brave Co. clothing and accessories store on West Fourth Street, said her store was also busy Friday and Saturday and offered extended hours to greet customers.

For 2020, local promotional efforts have been hugely important in pushing the holiday weekend to counter store closings, she said, but this year has seen comparable sales.

“The number (of customers) was down a bit, but the sales were the same,” she said. “I really hope we have a good rest of the year.”

She said she appreciates the support Roswell’s customers and business groups provide to local stores.

“I have colleagues who have shops in other places and some of their towns are not as supportive,” she said, “so Roswell is very good to us.”

Lindberg, who has learned to deal with the fallout from the pandemic like other retailers have done, said she appreciates the party bringing customers back to the physical store.

“It was so much nicer,” she said, “and that’s what makes my business, Hippie Chicks – my people.”

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at [email protected]


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