Main Street wraps up fruitful holiday season
Ryan Summerlin January 3, 2014
Several local businesses on Main Street reported more foot traffic and sales this holiday season than last year’s. They attributed the increase to different factors, including mild weather, an economic upturn and the days on which holidays fell this year.
Doug Hollinger has owned Park City Clothing Company on Main Street for 20 years. He said the weeks before and after Christmas have been great for the store in terms of sales.
"I would say we are doing 20 percent better compared to last year, because there has been a lot more traffic and more people," he said. "They are coming here for vacation, giving their loved ones gift cards to buy their gifts while they are here, so it’s been good so far and we hope it will stay that way."
Hollinger thinks the increase in traffic is due to the snow conditions and cold weather, saying it was cold and snowing at just the right time, bringing in more visitors than usual and keeping them happy while they are here.
Park City Clothing Company was fully-stocked in preparation for a busy tourist season, not only with merchandise but with staff, Hollinger said. Michelle Gibson, owner of Destiny clothing store, said she prepared in the same way.
"You can have the merchandise, but if you don’t have the sales people to help sell it, you’re probably not going to," she said. "We make sure we have top-selling merchandise in and then go out of our way to make our customers feel special, tailoring our service to each individual."
Both Hollinger and Gibson said the best-selling items in their stores were cold weather outerwear. Leggings, boots and accessories like hats, gloves and scarves were big sellers.
Besides clothing, visitors have also been buying jewelry and souvenirs like artisan clocks and wall art, according to Livin’ Life Park City owner Don Croce.
Croce said it was one of the strongest holiday seasons he has seen since taking over the store almost six years ago now. "The volume of people and the volume of sales have been most surprising," he said.
The Park City Chamber/Bureau’s efforts to appeal to the affluent market are one of the largest contributing factors to the increase in visitors, he said, because he believes the economy is rebounding for them.
"We’ve definitely seen a higher per-sale dollar amount this year than we have in the past," Croce said. "We’ve kept our ears open about what the Chamber/Bureau has been doing to attract the affluent market, and I really do think that has to be the key to it."
Croce said the fact that the holidays fell in the middle of the week was a big help, since students are not in school and parents are bringing them for the whole week instead of just a weekend.
Now that the holiday season has come to an end, they are all preparing for the Sundance Film Festival. Hollinger said there is usually a decrease in volume and sales between the holiday season and Sundance, but once the film festival rolls around, Main Street is busier than ever.
"We’ve got some manufacturers we deal with on a lot of our winter boots, so we’re trying to get a few more in before then," he said. "We will also be doing a big trunk show with Filson, a heavy-duty wool outerwear company and making sure we are ready with a big staff to handle all the business."
Gibson said she is looking forward to Sundance and all of the business it will continue to bring Main Street after what she said was a very slow summer. "I think everybody felt how slow it was here on Main Street," she said. "The holidays have been good, though. We all needed it."