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“Business has doubled.” Local retailers see big boost in holiday sales

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 5:24 PM EST
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - New data from Mastercard SpendingPulse show holiday sales rose at the fastest pace in 17 years.

Local malls and business owners say they’re seeing similar trends on top of record-breaking numbers.

“Business has doubled, it’s... it’s at least doubled,” said Jeneen Wilson, the owner and operator of Primped 365.

Many local retailers report 2021 has been one of the best holiday shopping seasons in a while.

“So we’re seeing sales revival, small business revival at the same time more local, a lot of shopping and people are seen to be enthusiastic about getting back to old-time retail,” said Stacy Martin, the owner of Adventure Hobbies & Toys, Tea & Totally Gifts and La Bella Donna Cherie.

“We learned with kind of the attitude that malls were dying. And in fact, we’ve seen the exact opposite here. It’s been very busy,” said Wilson.

Spending data show holiday sales rose about 8.5 percent from last year between November 1 and Christmas.

“Well, we were a little apprehensive, you know, just coming out of all the 2020 stuff and 2021 craziness, but it’s been amazing. I mean, we were shocked at how much foot traffic and how busy the mall actually was,” said Wilson.

Longtime retailers in Uptown Christiansburg mall echo national data, seeing much of this year’s spending fueled by clothing and jewelry purchases.

“But also, too, there was an element of people not being sure they can get what they wanted online, but I think they’re starting to see that-- empty malls are not good for anyone, that if they have an empty mall, that means their communities will be empty, which means the less tax revenue and of course and less jobs and so it’s really, I think about community and people starting to realize that you know, sometimes old ways are better ways,” said Martin.

“Hoping to keep continue for continued growth pattern as we go forward. We’re very pleased the community has been incredibly kind to us. And we look forward to staying here for many years to come,” said Jerry Negrin, a store manager at Henebry’s.

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