(Gillette, Wyo.) For local retailers, this holiday season is looking a lot jollier.
While sales tax figures for the season won’t be out for another couple of months, the figures from Dec. 2015 to Dec. 2016 showed a drop in Campbell County of over 30 percent.
This year, month-to-month figures have shown considerable improvement, and local retailers are seeing some better traffic this holiday shopping season.
Kylee Phillips, owner of Tin Wagon Boutique, said she’s saw steadily increasing sales month-to-month since she opened. The Tin Wagon sells clothes with a vintage, western flair. Phillips said her customers appeared to start their holiday shopping earlier this year.
“I started seeing holiday shoppers in early November,” she said.
Tara Stoneking, owner of Magpie Designs, said her Black Friday sales were good this year.
“We’re seeing a lot more people shopping locally and wanting local products,” she said.
Magpie sells home décor and unique gifts from local artisans.
Tracy Mathews, promotions and events manager for the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, said their Shop Down to Christmas holiday promotion has gotten a good response.
Anyone shopping at the 26 local businesses that are participating can submit a copy of their receipt for a chance to win each week $250 in Gold Bucks, which can be used in participating stores. So far, she’s received about 100 receipts from people wanting to be entered in the drawings.
“They don’t have to be local residents. They just have to be people shopping locally,” Mathews said.
The contest runs until Dec. 19.
Gail Winterholler, co-owner of Heaven to Earth, said her store has seen increases in Christmas sales and sales in general every year since they opened in 2011.
“People in Gillette are committed to supporting small businesses and often mention that they appreciate having some unique specialty shops here. Many people bring their visiting friends & relatives to experience our shop,” Winterholler said.
There’s still 18 days left to shop before Christmas, and the way things are going, it’s going to be a good year for local retailers.
“I sure hope it continues,” Phillips said.