Despite inflation, local businesses fared well over the holidays

The Netherlands - For many small businesses, the holiday season is a hit or miss.

Between day-long events like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, plus regular gift shopping, retailers have high expectations Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, sales were expected to increase by 4%. -6% in 2022 - significantly lower growth than the expected 15% increase in 2021, but still a positive trend. In all, sales forecasts for November and January put holiday sales between $1.45 and $1.47 trillion. While the business community is still waiting for final results, early stats from Mastercard’s SpendingPulse show holiday sales are up 7.6 percent this year, with online sales jumping more than 10 percent.

The increase comes despite a report from the US Census Bureau that showed November 2022 sales at $689.4 billion, down 0.6 percent from October. This number is up 6.5 percent from November 2021.

In the Netherlands, retailers entered the holiday season cautiously optimistic. Several business owners said that even with a last-minute blizzard, it was a positive year.

“We had another great holiday season despite the snow storm, which was definitely the biggest surprise of the season,” Lisa Hongerink, owner of Readers World, wrote in an email. “We are grateful to all of our shoppers who chose/choose to shop locally.”

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Fris Supply Shop — which offers customers a wide range of craft items, from brushes and paint to stationery and canvas — also said the holiday season was a success.

“The holiday season went really well,” said owner Andrew Friese. “This year, people seemed to be shopping a little later than in previous years — but overall, it’s been a great holiday season for us.”

Retailers have had to deal with a perfect storm in 2022, with a faltering economy, persistent inflation and supply chain issues. For Friese, ordering earlier and in larger quantities was a recipe for success.

“The big surprise was how many out-of-state visitors were shopping in Holland this holiday season,” said Friis. “Many said they went on a trip to visit and do some holiday shopping.”

With the holiday season now in the rearview mirror, retailers are turning their attention to 2023. Locally, that means weathering the winter months in preparation for Tulip Time and the busy summer season.

“We’ve dealt with many obstacles in the past two years and fortunately (made) many new friendships with regular customers now who help support us,” said Friese. “The last few years have been great, so I hope that will be the case in 2023.”

- Connect to Austin Metz’s widget [email protected].