Local retailers see drop in sales over the holidays

Sales dropped one percent for local retailers.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Another holiday shopping season has come to a close.

And according to the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, it wasn’t a good one for local retailers. Sales were expected to increase about 4 percent this year. Instead, they dropped one percent. Much of the reason is due to more people shopping online.

“I shopped mostly online because I was traveling for the vacations, for the holidays, so it was easier to have it shipped to where I was going,” said Matt Mili of Greenfield.

The association expects 18 percent of all gift purchases to have been done online. Despite many independent retail stores seeing a drop in sales, some businesses in downtown Greenfield still managed to have a successful holiday season.

“I know there were some businesses that saw a decrease, but we actually had an increase,” said Gail Gates Sales Associate at Fran’s Designer Clothing Outlet.  “We sold a lot of sweaters since its cold outside and boots that was a huge one.”

“Sales were about on key to what they were last year, not great,” said Kerry Semaski, Owner of Cleary Jewelers in Greenfield. “Certainly we’d like to see more local shopping, but all in all it was a good holiday season.”

Semaski told 22News they saw fewer customers, but the purchases were bigger. Diamond earrings and engagement ring sales were up from last year.

Online holiday sales did well this year. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts predicts as much as 18 percent of all gift purchases made online.