Merchants report brisk holiday sales
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 12:00 AM
Many Philadelphia merchants are reporting increased sales this holiday season and this week's cooler temperatures are expected TO bring out more shoppers.
"We've been doing really good and staying busy," said Carly Rounsaville of Byars Furniture.
Many of the stores are reporting that key, store specific items have been the biggest sellers.
Dawn Lea Chalmers of Kademi said their signature T-shirts, as well as, jewelry and fashion accessories have sold the best.
She also attributed this year's success to their recent "20 percent off everything" sale.
"We were bombarded," Chalmers said.
This sentiment was shared by Steve's on the Square owner Steve Wilkerson who noted that Ugg boots and Patagonia and North Face jackets are, as always, big sellers.
"It's brand name quality," he said.
Wilkerson said the unusually warm weather of recent weeks put a damper on sales but Monday's cold front brought an increase in shoppers.
"For the month [of December] we're a little behind but for the year we're up 3 1/2 percent," he said.
Chalmers agreed, noting that sales this season started slow but are now "nonstop."
An increase was also seen at M&S Furniture.
"We've been better than last year, at least 15 to 20 percent," owner Mike Skinner said.
Skinner, who holds a separate Moonlight Madness event from other retailers, said the increase was a surprise "especially with the shape of the economy."
In light of the increase in sales, some retailers have had to continuously restock their merchandise.
"We've reordered Ugg boots every week since open house," said Wilkerson.
Linda Griffis, of Magnolias and Sassafras, agreed saying they've had to reorder many of their popular items.
Magnolias and Sassafras opened on the square this past fall.
"We have been blessed beyond measure," Griffis said. "The support from the community has been great. Philadelphia is a great place because the people here encourage you."
Griffis noted that due to growing sales, the store has added a new line, Red Dirt Pottery and Glass by Beth Yarbrough.
People appreciate the made-in-Mississippi items, she said.
Other retailers, however, are hoping long time name recognition will continue to attract new and repeat customers.
Rounsaville cited Byars Furniture's long history in Philadelphia.
"We've been here for 60 years," she said. "We've seen ups and downs but we're glad to be in business."