Some businesses, however, are waiting to cash in on last-minute shoppers
The Truro Mall appeared to be a busy place on Thursday afternoon as Christmas shoppers made their way from store to store. HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS
TRURO - It's beginning to look a lot like a ‘green' Christmas - from a monetary perspective - for local retailers who are reporting brisk sales this year.
"Sea Shell Design has been extremely busy," said clerk Jane Richard of the downtown Truro boutique.
"People are buying jewelry, they're buying clothing, giftware, yeah, it's very busy, very steady. We're very pleased with business," she said.
Although specific sales figures were not immediately available, Richard said she is "100 per cent positive" that business has increased from the same time last year and has been for the past several months.
"We've been busy since the first of October with Christmas shoppers," she said. "We're getting a lot of people from out of town, a lot of people coming in from Halifax."
Richard is convinced, in fact, that the downtown Truro area is gaining "a reputation for shopping, for boutique shopping." And, not just from Halifax.
"We get people from Antigonish, Pictou County, New Glasgow. We have high repeat clientele that just continue to come back and support the store too," she said.
A little further up on Inglis Place, Morag Bailey, of Elegant Steps, said business at the ladies shoe, fashion and accessory store has also seen an increase for this year's Christmas shopping.
"I think we're a little bit busier than last year," she said.
Expect perhaps for winter boots, she chuckled.
"We really haven't had any snow so the boot business is a little bit slow."
Over at Truro Mall, Greg Justason, of The Source electronics store, said his business has been really brisk. And like Richard, he said this year's shoppers began checking off items on their Christmas lists somewhat early.
"We're doing better than last year and last year was a record year for us so we're doing good," he said, especially with sales of tablet computers and smart cellphones.
"We started early, I found," he said, adding that he anticipates this year's Christmas sales volume will be up by at least 10 per cent over last year.
Nearby at Berry's Furniture Plus, manager Mike Michaud said his sales this month have also been "extremely busy."
And while he doesn't specifically attribute that to Christmas shopping, Michaud said appliance, furniture and mattress sales have been hot.
"Generally, December is a good month for us, but this has been the best in five years," he said. "Last year was a good year but I think I found that, with all the news that went on in Truro last year in December (regarding business closings), I think a lot of people have tried to stay as local as possible and try to support local businesses. I think there is a little bit more buyer's confidence as well."
Across the way at Walmart, manager Nick Richard said he would have liked to have seen slightly brisker sales at this point, but he is hoping the last-minute shoppers will be coming out in droves this weekend.
"It's not really where we want to be," he said. "It seems like customers are holding off until the end. Hopefully, the weekend is busy for us and we get the sales up a little bit before Christmas."
Meanwhile, back in downtown Truro at Inglis Jewelers, half of the bald boy team and co-owner Paul Clark said he is also counting on some last-minute shoppers to help tip the scales towards a larger profit margin for the year
"We found it a little bit slow starting but it's starting to kick into high gear. We're getting lots of support downtown," he said.
"I think the guys just got to realize there's only a few days left so they're starting to get 'er done. Of course women are always organized, except for the lady that just looked at me as I said that," Clark laughed.
"For our business, it's the guys at the end that come in in the last few days here to make our season. They're par for the course. You can always count on the guys to be a last-minute shopper. I say that with a chuckle.
"Come on down, spend your money."