We won’t get official sales numbers until after the holiday season, but it appears many Whatcom County retailers are off to a good start this holiday season.
Dan Sanford of Launching Success Learning Store sent me a note reporting sales were up 10 percent during its post-Thanksgiving sales compared to a year earlier. An encouraging trend for the Bellingham store was the fact customers were buying beyond the sale promotions, going for specific gifts, he said.
What was surprising to Sanford this year was the increase in customers that made their way from early Black Friday shopping the big department stores to continue their buying with a smaller store later in the day.
“Typically, Friday after Thanksgiving can be an average to poor day since most folks are looking for bargains at the big stores only,” he said in the e-mail. “Some obviously just made a choice this year to shop at locally owned businesses.”
Some of the more popular items leaving the shelves fast at the Bellingham store this year include a new indoor/outdoor kid’s exercise tool called The Spooner. The product, which comes in two sizes, is a small cross between a snow board and a skate board. It can be used on grass, carpets, asphalt or snow. Another big seller this year is doll house furniture a variety of advanced level LEGO products.
There also seems to be a fair amount of buzz on local business pages on Facebook, as well as a few conversations I’ve had, particularly around Bellingham. Some longtime retailers have said a busy start generally means a solid sales season. We’ll see if it continues.