Quincy News

Retail sales up nationally; many local shop owners report good sales

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 28, 2018 10:15 pm Updated: Dec. 28, 2018 10:18 pm

QUINCY -- Shoppers spent more than $850 billion during the holiday season, according to figures released this week by Mastercard SpendingPulse.

U.S. retail sales, not counting automobiles, rose 5.1 percent from a year ago during the Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 shopping season.

Clothing stores did better than most other retail sectors, with sales up 7.9 percent.

Quincy clothing store owners saw the trend in their sales.

"We did have a good year. The holiday season was good for us," said Kristin Peters of Yellow Kiss Boutique, 609 Hampshire.

"I think the trend of shopping local and shopping small has been catching on," Peters said.

Bruce Guthrie, director of the District, said five store owners who met recently as part of a Retail Committee said "they had a very good holiday season and had seen an increase in sales."

Jeff Schuecking of Schueking's Men's Wear at 106 N. Fifth, will celebrate the store's 25th anniversary next May, and he's seen foot traffic climb.

"We're up. The last couple of years have been really good for us," Schuecking said.

That trend seems to fly in the face of the rising number of online sales. Online sales during this holiday season grew by 19.1 percent over 2017. However, overall sales from bricks-and-mortar retailers rose 3.3 percent year over year.

Department stores, however, fell by 1.3 percent nationwide because of many store closings.

Schuecking agreed that shopping patterns are changing, but he sees the resurgence of downtowns and individualized shops.

"Downtown Quincy has a bright future," Schuecking said.

A hybrid sales category, where shoppers buy online and then pick up the items at a store, grew by 47 percent, according to Adobe Analytics.

Kenny Hild, general manager of Farm and Home Supply in Quincy, said the long-established store has added e-commerce to its operation this year. Customers can buy online and often opt to pick up their order at the store.

Quincy Mall Property Manager Mike Jenkins said there was an uptick in foot traffic through the mall during the holiday shopping season.

"The weather was more conducive to good sales. We had one extra full weekend just before the end of the season. We're optimistic about the December sales that will be reported by the end of January," Jenkins said.

McKenzie Disselhorst, executive director of the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce, has been told by retailers that sales were good there as well.

"Many businesses experienced an increase in retail sales in 2018. Some have reported a lower number of transactions but higher value per transaction, but still maintaining an overall increase in sales," Disselhorst said.

Second- and third-quarter sales were stronger than in previous years for many Hannibal retailers, and holiday sales broke records for some merchants.

"With Hannibal's bicentennial and the completion of many additions and renovations in our community, we hope to continue to enjoy strong retail sales in 2019," Disselhorst said.