Thursday, December 27, 2018

Local shops thrive this holiday season despite a boost seen in online business sales - 13WHAM-TV

ROCHESTER, NY (WHAM) - The rise of online shopping has already forced the closure of some brick and mortar stores. Meanwhile, some local shops continue holding their own.

December brought booming business sales to Shop Peppermint on Culver Road in Rochester.

"About 40 percent of our revenue comes directly from December revenue," said owner Tanvi Asher.

She said, while people have the option to shop online, most of them came into the store.

"For us, it's kind of like 20 percent online sales and 80 percent in-store sales, and in-store sales are always very strong for us," she explained.

It's a a positive sign, yielding profits for small business owners like Asher.

"These kind of stores bring so much character to Rochester as a whole," said Olivia Prinzi, who was shopping at Shop Peppermint with her friend.

A recent report by Mastercard reveals holidays sales were the strongest in the past six years.

It said sales climbed 5.1 percent between November and Christmas Eve, bringing in a profit of $850 billion nationwide.

According to the report, online sales lead the market.

"We sell online," explained Chris Wiedemer, owner of Cooks' World. "But our focus and mission is not really to drive people to online website. It's to show, online, the products," he said.

He said he uses the website to his advantage to bring customers in.

"We have had double digit increases this holiday season, and it's been very exciting," he said.

He said with a specialty store like his, it's more about seeing the products in person.

"I think people here know every product they have in and out, which is super helpful," said Cayla Fromm, who was shopping at Cooks' World.

After all, Wiedemer must be doing something right; he is celebrating 40 years in business.

"Today has been a classic day after Christmas. It's all about returns, exchanges and gift cards," he said.



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