LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Small businesses are going to become reliant on holiday sales after it has seen challenges from the pandemic and supply shortages in the years before.
So Cool Gifts and Accessories on 345 Holyoke Street in Ludlow told 22News they were able to manage their supply last year despite a few miscellaneous items that were hard to get. But the beginning of Small Business Saturday on November 26th this year will kick off the season for them. “We did a revamp of the whole store in preparation for it, a bunch of new merchandise,” expressed Anna Capela, So Cool Gifts and Accessories owner. “Small Business Saturday is important to us, it sets the whole tone for us.”
The store will be having a select buy one get one free deal on scarfs, some holiday merchandise, and tumblers. There will small gifts also with purchases. The store will also be getting into the holiday spirit by packaging consumers’ items into ready-to-go holiday bags.
On the other hand, a toy and board game store in Ludlow on 435 Center Street and in Westfield on 5 East Silver Street called PlayNow says there were no supply shortages previously. “All the products are made in the United States and the vendors are actually looking to get rid of it since larger companies are overstocked and looking to us to take the product now,” said PlayNow store owner, Raymond Vigneault. PlayNow will be utilizing a 10 percent discount on all toy and board game items and having giveaways and raffles to help sell this inventory.
They will be taking advantage of Small business Saturday, by having a new third store location open in Westborough on 18 Lyman Street. “We had a very good Small Business Saturday last year and we’re just thinking on top of that, a grand opening is going to be even better,” said Vigneault. “Our goal for Saturday is to make as many people happy as possible.”
The Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) predicts that there could be a 10% increase in holiday shopping sales. This is a slight increase from what the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicted of 6 to 8%. According to RAM President Jon Hurst, a 10% sales increase leaves little room for error or increased profitability despite an 8% inflation rate.
Hurst adds they are asking Massachusetts’ holiday shoppers to remember that how they invest their dollars makes a big difference in the local economy. “We are asking consumers to commit to investing a good portion of their spending budgets right here in our communities,” Hurst said. Since any sales made towards small businesses will determine where they will stand next year.
But retailers are hopeful that they will see an increased jump in sales beginning this Saturday. According to the NRF, national holiday sales are projected to reach about $942.6 billion to $960.4 billion in 2022.