Back in early December, we asked a few Fifth Avenue merchants how the 2009 Holiday season was going and what their outlook was for the rest of the month. Now that the holidays are over, we hit the streets again to ask merchants how the season ended for them. The results were mixed:
All About Fifth: How was your holiday shopping season overall?
Tamara from Brooklyn Mercantile (www.brooklynmercantile.com):
The weekend before Christmas it snowed, so we had almost no foot traffic. However, right before Christmas, the last-minute shoppers poured in. One day people were knocking on the window before I even opened, and there were people trying to get in right as I closed. However, the traffic was just not what I was hoping it to be considering the amount of people who live in this neighborhood. I did sell a lot of small items and gift certificates ranging from 10 dollars to 150 dollars. But now that Christmas is over, business is really bad. I had a 20 dollar day last week.
Maxine from Stitch Therapy (www.stitchtherapybrooklyn.com):
Since I sell knitting supplies, this is my busy season. However, I thought that Shop Brooklyn could have really been much more helpful. Nobody came in because of it! I felt like I was expected to promote their program. I could have really used the extra support from Borough President Markowitz.
Alexandra from Allure on Fifth (http://allureonfifth.com/):
People are scared about losing their jobs, and people are not spending. Since I sell used clothing, Christmas is never a good time of year. But this Christmas was very bad; sales were down 50 percent. I have been here 13 years and this is one of the worst Christmases
Judi from Bob & Judi's Coolectibles
The season was about equal to last year sales-wise, and the year overall was good. Last year Bob and I went on vacation after Christmas, so we didn't notice the drop off as much. This year it's like night and day.
Lydia from Goldy and Mac (http://www.goldyandmac.com/)
Christmas was definitely better this year. We were able to keep a full staff and unlike last year, we didn't have to cut any employees' hours. People are more willing to shop. I think we did well because we had reasonable prices and had a good sale going on throughout.