Wilmingtonbiz logo
Print
Retail

Local Retailers Gear Up For Busy Shopping Weekend

By Jenny Callison, posted Nov 25, 2015
Ed Hobson said he is expecting a “very robust” Black Friday and weekend in terms of sales at Learning Express, his Wilmington toy store.
 
“Our trends have been very good, and we’re optimistic at this point the season and the weekend will be very good,” he said this week. “This is a toy season.”
 
Recent retail data support Hobson’s expectations.
 
Holiday shopping should be strong this year, according to recent news releases from two national sources. Both Merchant Cash USA and Wells Fargo Securities reported that retailers expect 2015 holiday sales to exceed those of last year.
 
“The economy continues to be on an upswing, and small business owners are certainly hopeful this will translate into sales this holiday season,” reported Merchant Cash, an organization that helps small and mid-size businesses with cash flow.
 
The organization surveyed nearly 4,000 small business owners nationally to compile its report, and stated, “These businesses expect their holiday sales to spike anywhere from 25-40 percent this November/December as opposed to 2014.” 
 
Wells Fargo Securities – part of Wells Fargo & Co. – is a bit more cautious, predicting a 3.4 percent increase in holiday sales this year.
 
“Economic conditions and consumer confidence continue to improve as we head into the holiday shopping season,” Wells Fargo Securities Economics’ Michael Brown said in a news release from the company. Brown co-authored the company’s report with senior economist Eugenio Aleman. “The National Retail Federation’s holiday spending survey found that the average holiday shopper is expected to spend 0.4 percent more per person than they did last year.”
 
The shopping activity could be even better in the greater Wilmington market, said Mark Vitner, a Charlotte-based senior economist for Wells Fargo. He predicted that local holiday sales would be up 4 to 4.5 percent from last year – a full percentage point higher than his economist colleagues suggested for holiday sales nationally.
 
“There is stronger population, job and income growth” in the Wilmington area than in many other places, Vitner said. “That means more people buying more stuff, even if only a small increase.”
 
Wilmington has more places to shop than it did a few years ago, due in part to retailers following the “tremendous influx” of retirees moving to the area, Vitner said. He added, however, that more people are now shopping online, which “is a big question mark” with regard to its impact on in-store sales.
 
“Weather is the wild card. If the weather is too warm, you’re not going to sell any gloves and other cold-weather clothing items,” he said.
 
The recent frosty mornings have Spectrum Fine Jewelry and Spectrum Gallery owner Star Sosa feeling optimistic. She knows she won’t get a big rush of customers early on Black Friday, but said earlier this week that she is preparing for a healthy volume of sales over the weekend, especially since there has been a frost and people are more apt to be in a holiday mood after a good cold snap.
 
“I have no doorbuster deals and don’t see the need to have them,” she said. “I have done a holiday mailer to about 10,000 homes, and I’m hoping to get some new customers from that.”
 
Sosa will expect to see customers start arriving later on Friday and continuing into Saturday at her companion stores in The Forum shopping center in Wilmington.
 
“They say, ‘We braved the crowds at the big box stores. Now we’re coming to the nice stores to do what’s fun,’” she said.
 
Learning Express and Pomegranate Books, an independent bookstore in Wilmington, are planning special activities the day after Black Friday. They are among local stores celebrating Small Business Saturday, an event created a few years ago by American Express.
 
“What we tend to do is invite a local author to play bookseller for a day and get to know them better,” Pomegranate owner Kathleen Jewell said. Saturday’s special guest is novelist Wiley Cash.
 
“We have a lot of fun with [Small Business Saturday],” she added. “We’ve never had much traffic on Black Friday, so we’re happy to have Saturday.”
 
Learning Express plans “a bunch of product demonstrations and giveaways, supported by vendors,” Hobson said. “We’re going to keep it fun.”

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

A Powerful But Underutilized Tax Subsidy For U.S. Exporters

Robert T. Burrus, Jr. - Cameron School of Business - University of North Carolina Wilmington
Dave sweyer 300 x 300

What You Should Know About Managing Your Own Rental

Dave Sweyer - Sweyer Property Management
Nealjohnson 12191614553

Five Tips To Stage Your Home

Neal Johnson - Network Real Estate

Book On Business

Bob2017

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Attorneys Named To Super Lawyers

Find out what local attorneys made Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers list this year. Peer nominations and evaluations along with third-party research are used to review candidates.

Crescom Holds Opening Event For Downtown Branch

Local officials joined CresCom Bank leadership and bank customers at the official opening of the bank’s downtown Wilmington branch at 115 N....

Is Cape Fear Ready For Its Close-Up?

As the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament in May nears, Wilmington-area businesses, transportation officials and tourism officials are...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

ICU Gets $14M In TLC At New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Cece Nunn - Apr 21, 2017 Trending News

Attorneys Named To Super Lawyers

Staff Reports - Apr 21, 2017

RiverLights, New Homes Throughout Region Showcased During Parade Of Homes

Staff Reports - Apr 21, 2017 Trending News

With Downtown Store, Memory Lane Comics Turns A New Page

Cece Nunn - Apr 20, 2017
Law Firms

Hamlet & Associates, PLLC

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016
WilmingtonBiz Expo - Key Note Lunch with Keynote Lunch with Chip Mahan - 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!


There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:



Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad