‘Once in a generation’: How much will people in Ohio spend on holiday shopping this year?

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WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WJW) – The big holiday shopping weekend may be over, but small businesses still saw some customers Monday afternoon. 

“We’re always supporting downtown Willoughby. It has a special place in my heart,” said Heather Ross.

She and her friends were not able to do Small Business Saturday, so they got together for a “make-up Monday” at home decor store, etc. on erie. 

“This is my Small Business [Saturday] because we don’t have to work today,” she said.

The owner says business was double from last year.

Achilles Running Shop next door also saw great sales, says General Manager David Jacobson. 

“This is our first full year in downtown Willoughby and people were out and about all weekend,” Jacobson said.

That seemed to be the case in the rest of Ohio, says Gordon Gough, president and CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants. 

“I think we’re in a once-in-a-generation shopping environment right now. I think folks from 2020 were cooped up in their homes, are now ready to celebrate the holidays and spend a little money,” said Gough.

Jacobson says Cyber Monday can be slow. 

“Cyber Monday is always one that we kind of battle. We still have Black Friday deals going but it’s definitely gone to an online day.”

Still, they’re expecting a really good holiday season. He says some products are going faster than others. 

“Clothing. Clothing is a big one right now because it’s hard to find other places,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson says they started ordering product back in February but, like most of the retail industry, are experiencing inventory issues. 

“Things that were supposed to be produced just never made it to production so we’re kind of scrambling, but we’ve put together a nice assortment to get through the holidays,” Jacobson said.

In fact, he says a lot of people have already done their holiday shopping, some as early as October. 

“We actually started an early return policy for holiday shopping just to give people peace of mind so they could buy it early and exchange it later if they needed to,” Jacobson said.

Heather Ross says she’s just starting her shopping but is factoring in the delays as she ticks off her list. 

“We’ll order some things but I definitely like to go out and grab it while I can,” Ross said.

The Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is projecting Ohioans will spend more than $31 million on holiday shopping — a 7.3% increase from last year.

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