Christmas is around the corner - Businesses Rejoice!Holidays are always a special time of the year. From the four years that I have lived in Lubbock, it seems like they are especially special out in West Texas. This past year I spent my first Thanksgiving in the Hub City and experienced how much holiday joy our community has. Entering a business during this time of year I can feel how much spirit each place has from the cheerful greetings to the warm “happy holidays” as I walk out of a store.
It’s easy to think of a million different things during this hectic time, but do you ever stop to think how this season affects places of business in Lubbock?
Retail Sales & DealsFor retail businesses, this time of year is extremely busy.
“Traditionally, Black Friday has been the kick off to promotions for the holiday season. The sales period from Thanksgiving to Christmas is the most critical season for retailers, so starting the season with compelling promotions was (and still is) retailers’ plan to energize shoppers,” said Beth Bridges, Senior Manager of South Plains Mall.
However, Bridges stated that promotions and early bird sales have changed over the recent years with stores opening on Thanksgiving and offering online sales.
“With the success of those early bird sales, retailers often extend promotional sales into December which continues to strengthen holiday sales for a longer period. It’s a win-win for everyone: shoppers can find deals throughout the shopping season, and retailers continue to sell and turn inventory,” said Bridges.
Shopping online has become a very common trend over the past couple of years and is becoming even more convenient by offering gift wrapping and one-day shipping. However, Bridges urges the Lubbock community to still shop local.
“While shopping online may be convenient, shopping local is critical to our city. Shopping local keeps sales tax revenue in our city, it employs the people who live here, and it supports businesses who in turn support our community both economically and philanthropically,” said Bridges.
RestaurantsChris Lonngren, Treasurer of the Lubbock Restaurant Association, explains that during the holiday season restaurants see an increase in customers.
“In general, most restaurants will see an upswing leading up to Christmas Day, especially ones near a shopping area. Traditionally it has been South Plains Mall, but the expansion of Canyon West and West End shopping centers has changed some of the traffic/shopping patterns,” said Lonngren.
Research conducted by the Texas Restaurant Association over the past two years shows a 7 percent increase in sales in adult beverages for the month of December over the three months prior to December.
Traditionally, most restaurants are closed Christmas Day; however, Lonngren stated that you will see some full service restaurants offering a Christmas Dinner. Usually the week after Christmas, the customer counts will be low. However, once customers start getting tired of leftovers and want to get out of the house they will start to pick up again.
Lonngren said, “Once we get past New Year’s Day, our sales usually start to increase and then you’re waiting for the college students to come back into town.”
OverallIn conclusion, beginning in November to early January, businesses see an increase of customers and are very busy trying to help you and your family have the best holiday experience. I encourage you to not only shop locally but to thank your cashier, waitress or sales associate for their time helping you during this holiday season.