It seems that when it comes to Christmas shopping, local consumers still seem to be upbeat despite fears of recession.
We are pleased to report a record 3rd quarter with turnover increasing by over 10% in October and November compared to last year. Our star performing departments are the cook shop, country clothing, giftware and oak furniture. Country clothing sales this year are up by over 90% on last year following the expansion of the department, while the Christmas department’s takings are up 125% on last year. Internet sales through our website, www.hilaryclare.com, have also doubled in the same period.
Director Shaun Lewis says: “We think people started shopping for Christmas earlier this year with the intention of spreading out the expense. Morale seems to have been higher this Autumn despite the plethora of bad economic news stories in the press. Natural colours and materials for Christmas decorations such as twigs and berries have proved very popular this year, hinting that people may be yearning for reminders of a simpler life. Meanwhile, bright colours are in for clothing and the higher end brands are selling better than the lower end, so maybe people are just wanting to cheer themselves up with a treat.
“Retailing is still tough but it just goes to show that if you can offer good value products in an attractive environment with good customer service, then it is still possible to succeed. Other than spacing out their expenses, we have seen no evidence that people are cutting back on Christmas this year.”