Local Shopping a Success

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

The holiday shopping season can bring up to half the sales for the entire year and nationwide, retailers are hurting this year as sales dropped about eight percent.

Store owners in eastern Kentucky say a push to shop locally led to a successful season.

Linda Ritchie says Christmas Eve was one of the busiest shopping days in the Hallmark store's 25 years in Prestonsburg, leading to a successful holiday shopping season.

"All in all it did turn out pretty well. We did run out of some things and had to reorder and were still getting merchandise in on the 23rd," says Ritchie, the store owner.

Officials with chambers of commerce across the Big Sandy started the push to shop locally just before Thanksgiving. Store owners say things would be a lot different if people did not shop around home.

"We've held our own and if you listen to the world markets, I think that we have probably done really well this year," says Ritchie

Paul Williams owns Country treasures with his wife and says, "This year was a lot better than last year. It seems like people are shopping here locally. It seems like last year people went away."

Officials say the money spent in the Big Sandy supports local economies, and also say shoppers likely saved a lot of money shopping close to home.

"They saved without having to pay the travel expense, shopping expense, the eating out, the eating expense and the other expenses that come with travelling," says Mandy Stumbo with the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce.

She says it is a "win-win" situation for everyone.

Williams says, "Once they come in they are really surprised. They buy and they keep coming back. And we're sure appreciative for their business." Things are going so well Williams plans to open a second store in Pikeville.

Both store owners say it is unclear how the rest of the winter season will turn out, but they are optimistic sales will stay steady.


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