Local retailers report higher sales over holiday weekend

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Weekend lines were long at the malls and big box stores, but local independent shops say their sales were strong too.

"For the week was actually a very good week. Our Lakeside store was actually up 25 percent," said Franco Ambrogi, Franco's Fine Clothier.

Franco's Fine Clothier had record sales by Wednesday: long before the Black Friday shopping frenzy.

"I think it's going to be spotty. I think the people that are going to be a little bit more aggressive, they probably going to do very well. The ones that will wait for the customers to come in through the doors. They probably won't," said Franco.

The Richmond Retail Merchants Association polled 30 local shop owners on Sunday night and reports that almost everyone noticed a 5 percent increase in Black Friday sales this years.

"A lot of retailers that we polled said Friday was good traffic. Lots of shoppers. Numbers were either flat or a little bit above. And then as Saturday and Sunday rolled through for the weekend. They saw more shoppers and their sales really increased," said Nancy Thomas, Richmond Retail Merchant's Association.

Thomas says shoppers are still being careful, but they are opening their wallets more than this time last year.

"They want to shop but their cautious. So they are going to do a lot of research on what to buy they'll be price conscious and I think you will see continued traffic through the weekends," Thomas said.

MacLaren Jeweler's officially opened its doors this morning. Missing out on the Black Friday sales, but the owners say, not on this new spirit of spending.

"The whole market really changed back in march of this year. The economy has changed. We are part of the stimulus package. We're at the right place at the right time," said Larry Brydon, MacLaren Jeweler's.

According to the Merchants Association for every dollar spent with independent local shops, 45 cents goes back into the local economy.

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