Perfume Paradise in Arbor Place Mall saw a 5 percent decline in holiday sales. Owner Raj Shah said sales started slow and picked up in the days before Christmas.
“It did not pick up as much as it should have,” he said.
Shah said he was expecting a 3 to 5 percent increase in holiday sales this year at the six-year-old business. Such factors as availability of competitors’ online sales and the weather may have contributed to the decline.
However, Mitch Mobley, owner of Mobley Co. jewelers in Villa Rica, said his store saw “better than expected” results this year.
“We did real well,” he said, noting it was too early to give exact figures.
“It seems like people have heard about the economy and have thrown their hands up and gone out anyway,” Mobley said. “I think people had the money. They were just afraid to let go of it.”
He said such factors as being in close proximity to his customer base may have helped increase sales this year. The store is on Ga. Hwy. 61 in the town which straddles the line between Douglas and Carroll counties.
Such sources as Forbes recently reported holiday retail sales decreased about 0.7 percent nationally this year following forecasts of 3 to 4 percent increases amid a strengthening economy. Economists blamed a number of events for dampening consumer enthusiasm, including widespread talk about the “fiscal cliff” – which reportedly would lead to tax increases on all Americans if no budget deal was struck by Jan. 1 – and the Connecticut school shooting, among others.
Becky Rathel, who operates the specialty jewelry business Cool Beads on Chapel Hill Road in Douglasville, said she also saw better-then-expected results this year. Cool Beads sells jewelry and their components and offers classes in which customers can create unique pieces, Rathel said.
“More wanted to do something that was more special,” she said. “They wanted to put more thought into it instead of worrying about the money.”