Golden shoppers slow to start buying presents this Christmas

Although many small business owners agree it was a slow start for holiday shopping this year, presents started flying off the shelves the last few days before Christmas and even into Boxing Day week.

Ian Donnelly of the Jungle Room noticed that there were very few shoppers in the first few weeks of December when sales are usually starting to rise.

“But people started coming into the store right before Christmas and grabbing stuff from the shelves,” he said. Donnelly guesses that the Jungle Room’s sales will be almost exactly the same as last holiday season.

Deb Kwiatek, owner of Top Notch, found a similar pattern.

“Sales were really down in mid-December and we were worried,” she said. “But it picked up right before Christmas and it’s still going strong.”

Kwiatek also noticed that customers were paying for their purchases in cash more often than debit or credit card, which is abnormal for the Christmas shopping season.

“I don’t really know what it means, but it could point to the fact that people are trying harder not to go into credit debt.”

Cross-country skis were the hot item at the Kicking Horse Gear Exchange this Christmas as more and more people are getting involved in the sport. This trend seemed to have started last winter and really picked up this ski season.

“We haven’t done inventory yet,” said Charlotte Gavura, owner and operator of the store. “But it seemed really busy in the store this whole month.”

Lori Baxendale, owner of Lori Baxendale Formals, was surprised how slow sales were at her store in the week before New Years Eve, but had several strong weeks at the end of November and start of December. She is really pleased with her decision to put dozens of dresses on a $40 sale rack.

“It was so neat,” said Baxendale. “I sold dresses to women of all walks of life from that rack.”

Baxendale noticed the hords of skiers milling around downtown after the ski hill closed during the week between Christmas and New Years. She hopes this influx of tourism will help “line the pockets” of local businesses as they head into the typically slow month of January.

As for how she will get through the lack of spending that always happens in the New Year, Baxendale hopes the tourists keep coming. That, and she’ll have to put on a big, big sale.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

High-speed Internet has become a necessity during the pandemic as many people work from home. (File photo)
Golden residents encouraged to test Internet speeds

Golden has not been deemed eligible for federal funding

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Most Read