Downtown businesses experience boost in 2019 holiday sales

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The holiday shopping season has come to a close for retailers across KELOLAND, wrapping up an important part of their business.

“It’s very important, that’s the big chunk of the revenue for the year,” Young and Richards owner Cindy Palleschi said.

Retailers along Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls all know just how important the holiday season is for their business.

“That last month is crucial, so if we have a blizzard or if we have something extraordinary happen, it’s truly devastating,” Child’s Play Toys Owner Nancy Savage said.

The biggest change in 2019 was the calendar.

“It was kind of a shorter Christmas season this year, with Thanksgiving being later, it kind of shortened the whole shopping season,” Palleschi said.

“It was a little delayed start and to be honest I was a little panicked in the beginning…but into December it was like all of a sudden it just snapped and it was Christmas,” Savage said.

These downtown business owners say the closer it got to Christmas, area shoppers really made up for the late start.

“They came out in droves, it was so much fun, those last couple weeks definitely made up for the beginning being a little bit slow,” Savage said.

Online and at her new store at Lake Lorraine, Savage saw some great toy sales this holiday season.

“I had goals that I had set for that store, we exceeded all of the goals out there,” she said. “Our online business this year was also up compared to previous years.”

After ten years of Phillips Avenue, Palleschi with Young and Richards says this short shopping season was one of the best.

“I feel very fortunate, our sales for November and December combined were 11% over last year,” Palleschi said.

She believes the difference is all thanks to a booming Phillips Avenue.

“I attribute it to downtown just becoming much more popular; people are just seeking out the smaller shops and supporting local businesses,” Palleschi said.

According to a report from Mastercard’s SpendingPulse, all holiday retail sales saw a 3.4% increase in 2019, with online sales growing by 18.8%.

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