Weather Affecting Shopping

By: Kim Russell
By: Kim Russell

As the countdown to Christmas continues, in some stores it is not beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

"It's not too busy, and I got a lot accomplished," said shopper Merry Hitchcock after she hit the stores just a week before Christmas.

That's right, not too busy.

Michigan Retailers Association CEO Larry Meyer says in early surveys this holiday season sales are down seven percent from this time last year. He is blaming mother nature.

"Frankly we'd like to see a little more snow. Snow and it being colder puts you in the mind of the holiday."

Still, it is starting to hit home. The holiday is coming. While early numbers weren't looking good analysts say they expect this year to be better than last year because many people are just getting started shopping now, and despite average sales being down, not all businesses are suffering, said Meyer.

"We find that jewelry, gift, and even home decor shows are doing quite well."

Jewelry store owner Becky Beauchine Kulka says she is having a great season.

"Numbers are up almost 30 percent. A lot of people are out shopping. Sales are up 30 percent. Bigger gifts are being purchased, and it’s been great."

Her store was the first Christmas shopping stop for Mr. and Mrs. Bemister.

“She's picking out her own Christmas gift. That's right. All I have to do is bring my credit card and myself. It is going to work out well for me.”

Kulka says more husbands like Bemister will be coming in without their wives on Christmas Eve.

"It is their day, and they're fun. We enjoy it because there isn't a whole lot of time so they need to make it happen.”

And with those procrastinating husbands, Myer says he expects many more procrastinators at other stores making for a promising holiday shopping season.


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