Holiday shopping season picking up in Red Deer

With 18 shopping days left until Christmas, Red Deer businesses are cautiously optimistic about this season’s retail sales.

Angela King, manager at Sophie’s Treats in Parkland Mall said business is slow, but it’s starting to pick up.

Brittani Dobirstein, manager at Tip Top Tailors, said she has seen early signs, which makes her hopeful for big sales this Christmas season.

She said the store had higher sales this Black Friday weekend than it did last year.

Dobirstein believes the economy is picking up because she sees it at the mall, which wasn’t the case last year. She said foot traffic around the mall is picking up.

Dobirstein said going to stores versus online shopping helps customers with sizing, and the personal customer service experience.

“Sometimes you need a little bit of one-on-one help,” she said.

Dobirstein also reminds shoppers when they buy local, they not only help the local economy, but they save on shipping fees.

Robin Bobocel, CEO at Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce, said consumers are readjusting to the economy, and they are more robust with their spending this year. Businesses are cautiously optimistic, going into the holiday season, he said.

Noting the latest September 2016 to September 2017 retail sales numbers by Statistics Canada listed per province, he said, businesses have good reasons to be enthusiastic and optimistic going into this year’s holiday season.

The numbers show Alberta has a 7.6 per cent change within a year, putting the province in third place — after New Brunswick at 10.9 per cent and B.C. at 9.6 per cent.

“It signals a rebound in the economy,” said Bobocel.

He, however, is cautious about the $30/tonne carbon levy in the new year and increased minimum wage. He said those costs will trickle down and be passed on to consumers.

“My conclusion would be it’s cheaper to shop now than it would be in the new year,” he said.

Rosie Frew, manager at Suzanne’s at Parkland Mall, is not convinced the economy has turned around. She said her sales numbers were worse this year than last year.

Frew said the store is a high-end destination store with Canadian clothing, which customers won’t find online. She said that could be why shopping there would be considered a “luxury thing” to do, which is hard during a downturn.

Over at Bower Place, Tammy Sutter, service manager at Chatters Hair Salon, said she hasn’t seen an increase in sales. She said although shopping local would mean supporting local businesses, she believes shoppers like to shop online because it’s convenient. She said foot traffic is about the same in the mall as it was last year.

Jared Priegnitz, retail manager at Journeys at the Bower mall, said sales have been going up in the past couple weeks with more people out and about shopping. While he wasn’t at the store last year, he has seen the sales numbers and they show a growth this year.

“Everything is continuously growing up — our sales as well as traffic,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Retired city manager Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the Molly Banister Drive right-of-way at Tuesday's public hearing. He warns of future gridlock if the extension is removed by city council. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Former Red Deer city manager warns killing the Molly Banister Drive extension is ‘a terrible mistake’

Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the road alignment at next week’s public hearing

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Property crime and drugs top Red Deer RCMP priorities in new plan

2020-2022 Policing Priorities Plan going to city council on Monday

RCMP estimate about 500 people gathered on the weekend near Garrington Bridge along the Red Deer River, in a July 28, 2020 story. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Second person charged for alleged assault at anti-racism rally in Red Deer

A second person is facing charges following an alleged assault during an… Continue reading

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees vice-president Bonnie Gustola criticized provincial government layoffs at a rally that drew more than 80 people at City Hall Park on Friday.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
More than 80 rally in Red Deer against government health, education cutbacks

Rally at City Hall Park organized by the Council for Canadians

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

New voluntary measures, including the encouragement of more mask wearing, have been introduced in the Edmonton health zone. “Red Deer has been very fortunate to have relatively low case numbers . . . relative to the rest of the province and the country,” says Mayor Tara Veer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
POLL: Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning in Game 3 of the baseball World Series Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Inter Miami defender Ben Sweat, left, and Montreal Impact attacker Maximiliano Urruti fight for the ball during their MLS soccer match, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Rested Montreal Impact looking to collect points with big finish to regular season

Rested Montreal Impact looking to collect points with big finish to regular season

Mariah Bell of the United States, competes during women's short program in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Nathan Chen dominates again in Skate America short program

Nathan Chen dominates again in Skate America short program

Lanto Griffin putts on the ninth hole during the second round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Thomas has a fast start for a 65 and a 1-shot lead at Zozo

Thomas has a fast start for a 65 and a 1-shot lead at Zozo

Mariah Bell of the United States, competes during women's short program in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Bell, Tennell go 1-2 in Skate America short program

Bell, Tennell go 1-2 in Skate America short program

Team Saskatchewan skip Matt Dunstone flips his broom in frustration following a shot as they take on Team Alberta in the playoffs at the Brier in Kingston, Ont., on Saturday, March 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Team Matt Dunstone considers relocation due to restrictions in Saskatchewan

Team Matt Dunstone considers relocation due to restrictions in Saskatchewan

Most Read