Keesha Mah takes a seat on a bench while Boxing Day shopping at the Bower Place mall in Red Deer on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Keesha Mah takes a seat on a bench while Boxing Day shopping at the Bower Place mall in Red Deer on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Mixed bag for Red Deer stores on Boxing Day

Boxing Day was “very slow,” says the manager of one store at the Bower Place mall in Red Deer.

“It was really unknown (how busy Boxing Day would be),” said Faye Saunders, manager of Ben Moss Jewellers.

“That seems to be the way things have been since the holiday season has come in.”

While Boxing Day was slow, the Christmas season as a whole was “very good,” said Saunders.

“It was way better than we did expect. But (Boxing Day) was a little disappointing,” she said.

“It is usually a big day. We look quite forward to it this time of year, but unfortunately today isn’t turning out how we’d like it to be.”

Adrian Bolli, owner of Bolli Imports, an alternative clothing store that focuses on ethnic imports located in Bower Place, said he was happy with business on Boxing Day.

“It’s been a really strong Boxing Day given the serious restrictions we’ve been experiencing during the Christmas season,” Bolli said.

Restrictions introduced by the Alberta government earlier this month required retail stores to reduce capacity to 15 per cent from 25.

“Ontario blocked their Boxing Day weekend sales, which for small businesses would be a bit of a blow. Even though sales are overall down, as a business owner I’m grateful we can be open, move some of our stock and move forward with serving our customers during this season,” he said.

There was an “expected drop in sales” during the Christmas season, he added.

“It still was quite a worthwhile endeavour as a small business. Under the circumstances I’m very happy with it,” Bolli said.

Mistine Meszaros, assistant manager of Rocky Mountain Soap in Bower Place, said her store wasn’t too busy on Boxing Day.

“In store, things have been a little slower than it has been. But the mall looks crazy,” she said.

The Christmas season was overall “quite steady,” she added.

Keesha Mah was in Bower Place shopping on Boxing Day.

“We do (Boxing Day shopping) every year – most of the time,” said Mah, who was at the mall with her sister.

“Usually I have one thing I want to get and it turns into a bunch of other stuff I don’t need. I’ve got what I came to get, so I should probably stop now.”

Mah said she was comfortable shopping in the mall Saturday.

“I was a little worried coming here at first. I thought it would be super busy and it would be overwhelming, but it seems OK,” she said.

Brad Armstrong, another Boxing Day shopper, said he’ll typically check stores for a deal.

“I felt like things were going to be slow anyways, so I thought I’d come by and have a look,” he said.

“We just have to do our part, stay out of people’s way and hopefully we’ll get through this.”

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