Prince Rupert businesses benefit from holiday shopping

Shoppers spending about the same as last year

12/22/2010

Prince Rupert retailers say it's business as usual with holiday shoppers despite tough economic times in the City and compared to Christmas of last year, local businesses say shopper's spending habits haven't really changed.

"It's funny,we're kind of measuring every day and we're almost exactly on par from last year which to me is a success story." Says David Smooke Owner of Seahorse Trading Co. and Homework.  "I mean we're not not galloping ahead but last year we had a banner year and had lots of support from the community and this year we're on target for the same so it's terrific."

Even Jewellers with higher priced inventory say they're seeing a similar year to last year and are even anticipating surpassing last year's sales in the next two shopping days remaining before Christmas.

Marc Paige a local sports store owner says sales have been steady for the entire month of December but he says he's seen fewer people reach for their wallets on more expensive items opting for more affordable ones instead.

"We've seen a decline on big ticket items for sure yeah" When asked he's concerned about that fact Paige replies: "Not really, I'm just hoping to squeeze through like I do every year." He laughs.

 Paige says for Downtown stores that rely heavily on revenue from the holiday season to get through the slower months, he's making sure he's available to meet the needs of shoppers.

"It seems like the retail environment in Prince Rupert, nobody has their doors open past 5:30 or 6pm anyways so how can you really get those people that are out there making money to come into your doors if you're shut down at 5:30 or six? So you really got to cater to the customers if you want to makes the sales."

With the clock ticking on last minute shopping, retailers say they are expecting to get shoppers in the store who are less concerned with how much an item costs and more concerned with having a gift under the tree.