BOISE, ID – The holiday shopping season is underway. So far shoppers have spent a record $52 billion according to the National Retail Federation. But in downtown Boise, retail sales have been mixed at least for some locally-owned businesses.
Rediscovered Books moved to downtown Boise about a year and a half ago. Laura Delaney, who owns the store with her husband, is optimistic about this holiday season especially after a push to encourage shoppers to buy local.
Laura Delaney: “We look like we’re going to be doing a little bit better than last year. There was a lot of information about that shop local Saturday and it made a difference.”
Delaney’s experience so far echoes the National Retail Federation’s forecast that holiday sales this year will be up nearly 3 percent over last year. At other downtown stores, it’s hard to compare. Jamison Olson, one of the member-owners of Indie Made, says sales have doubled since April. That’s when the store moved to a larger space. Olson has also noticed an uptick in shoppers during the past few days.
Jamison Olson: “It’s shaping up to be a much better holiday season. I think we’re going to be pretty insane. We’re doubling up on staff members that week up to Christmas and adding extra hours and stuff.”
It’s a different story over at Ella’s Room four blocks away. Denise Joy owns the lingerie store.
Denise Joy: “Just not that much pedestrian traffic down here. I have not had one Christmas shopper. I have not wrapped one gift . . . yet.”
Just a few shops over from Ella’s Room, a shoe boutique shut its doors earlier this year and a clothing store moved to Meridian. Though the retail picture is mixed in downtown Boise, the National Retail Federation predicts shoppers will spend more than $465 billion dollars this holiday season.
Copyright 2011 Boise State Public Radio