Is Holiday Shopping the Only Time You "Buy Local?"

Dec 18, 2013

The holiday shopping season is now in full swing, but while it’s true a snowy winter wonderland can get consumers in the Christmas shopping spirit, New York State Retail Council Vice President Ted Potrikus cautions that the chilly weather can result in some frustrating situations for retailers: 

With Christmas now just a week away, procrastinating consumers are simply running out of time - and even the most treacherous weather around New York State isn’t stopping that final Christmas rush.  

target store
Large chain retailers may have better luck leveraging mobile shopping applications
Credit Anne Bolt / WAER News

Retailers are happy with the one to three percent uptick in sales from this time last year, which is measurable even with factors like a shorter Christmas season and the recent weather extremes. Potrikus says that uptick is just about the peak of expectations. 

 SHOPPING LOCAL FOR THE HOLIDAYS Locally-owned stores around Central New York are trying to get their share of holiday gift buying.  The downtown clothing store, the village craft shop or the local jeweler face some obstacles, but also have some assistance.  Potrikus says he knows small businesses have to fight against big names and big advertising. In the Syracuse area, groups like Syracuse First and Syracuse Guru promote the value of buying local – which of course includes Christmas time.  Potrikus says promotions like Small Business Saturday and holiday pushes to buy local may help, unless the end of the calendar year is the only time customers make a point to frequent and purchase from that local store:

Marshall Street in Syracuse, Shirt World store front
Small businesses may experience a drop in profits after major shopping seasons or "buy local" campaigns
Credit Chris Bolt / WAER News
 

Potrikus says small, local retailers can also have trouble competing with big stores’ online sales and promotions. But many counter that with targeted marketing to customers in the area and by offering location-specific coupons.  Potrikus expects buyers to be out at stores the next few days as the procrastinating buyers realize any online purchases they make may not arrive by Christmas.

For more on the New York State Retail Council, visit retailcouncilnys.com