Increase in holiday sales for local merchants

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While retail sales weren't as high as expected nationwide merchants in downtown Monument saw an increase in sales during the holidays.

“Sales we're great for us. We were over than last year,” Donna Townsend, employee at The Village Merchants, said.

Kathi Schuler, owner of The Love Shop, said she saw an increase in sales over last year as well.

“Ours was really good. It was better than last year. We were super busy every day,” Schuler said.

While holiday sales may have seen a boost locally analysts reported that nationwide retail sales didn't increase as much as expected and sales were their weakest since 2008 when the nation was in a deep recession. According to the MasterCard Advisors Spending Report which was released Dec. 25, the sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods increased by only 0.7 percent from Oct. 28 to Dec. 24, compared to a two percent increase last year. Sales were expected to increase by three or four percent. The report looked at all payment methods.

Analysts blamed bad weather, such as Super Storm Sandy, and the threat of an impending tax hike for the weak sales. Even the presidential election was blamed for weak sales in early November.

However Schuler, who has been in business for 25 years, said despite the presidential election many people locally decided to forge ahead and spend money.

Covered Treasures Bookstore also saw an increase in sales this holiday season.

“We had a really good season,” Paula Primavera, employee at Covered Treasures, said.

Online sales grew 8.4 percent and saw a slight increase after the Midwest was hit by a recent snowstorm but online sales only make-up 10 percent of all holiday sales.

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