Another Christmas Season has come and gone. Folks visiting are back home by now, decorations are starting to find their way back into their boxes, the kids are back to school, and life is returning to relative ‘normal’. The Small Business Saturday and Shop Small campaigns will tuck themselves away, for now, and find ways to make improvements until reappearing late next fall and we do it all over again. (Do you remember the pre-holiday hype?) Soon, you will see reports of the Wal-Marts, Targets, Sears, and other large retailers gauging how the overall shopping season was, based on dollars.
Running with the fact that the Beaufort area is comprised of mostly small businesses, we went out into town today to ask some of our small business owners …”How WAS the 2012 Holiday shopping season for your small business?”
We first stopped into Modern Jewelers on Bay Street and spoke with owner Kevin Cuppia. Kevin’s response when we asked the question…just a big smile on his face. “Actually we had a better season this year, than last, and we’re quite happy for that. Beaufortonians always support the local businesses, and we’re grateful,” Kevin said. Our next stop was Divine Shoes on Scott Street where Kathy Kilgore was opening for the day. Her answer to the same question was “we’ve had a better season this year, than the past 2 or three”. Next stop was downtown’s The Lollipop Shop on West Street Ext. Owner Cindy Jacobus was happy to report that “this year is up over last year”, as well.
All is great news. Will the trend of positivity continue, we wondered?
Tim Lovett, owner of Beaufort Town Center’s Higher Ground Outfitters said “this year is better than last. We had a solid season, and much better than last year.” We then continued our local retail-tour by contacting Allegra Craig, part-owner of Joli Home & Events on Bay Street. Allegra was very happy to tell us that “sales were very strong both before, and after the Holiday”, and that “Bay Street has really embraced Joli, and we’re very grateful.” This sentiment was echoed by Jennifer Argetsinger, purveyor of fine children’s clothing at her new Carolina Wiggle Wear shop in downtown, which just opened it’s doors at the beginning of December.
And last, but certainly not least, Cindy Turnbull, who’s Grace & Glory has seen more than just a few Christmases, was very pleased to tell us that her store had “one of the best seasons in it’s history, and certainly better than the past 2 or 3 seasons”.
Things seem to be good, and overall …a definite thumbs up.