Many area retailers reported strong Christmas and overall sales in 2017, according to The Missourian’s annual survey.
The newspaper reached out to more than 20 businesses in the Franklin County area about sales, expectations for the new year and whether they planned on making any major changes.
Survey results are below.
Fern & Sycamore
Owner Gina Scego says her Christmas season was great and it was exciting to see more customers from around the area traveling to Downtown Washington.
Scego said sales were up 5 to 10 percent overall for 2017. She is looking forward to some upgrades to the outside of the building in the upcoming year.
Inside, Scego said there will be some “really good, crazy changes” on displays in 2018.
The holiday season got off to a slow start in November at Dickey Bub, Union, but really picked up in December, according to Carrie Dickey, general manager.
Dickey said sales for the 2017 holiday season were about the same as the previous year. She said the biggest selling items were compound bows and firearms.
Firearm sales were new to Dickey Bub this past year and Dickey was pleased to see they went over well with customers.
The goal for 2018 is to continue to grow the firearms and sporting goods departments, she said.
The firearms sales helped the sales overall in 2017. Dickey reported the store had a “positive” year with about 3 percent growth.
Hall Brothers Lumber
Mark Hall, owner of Hall Brothers Lumber, Washington, said his store doesn’t have a traditional holiday season, but sales overall were good in 2017.
Hall reported sales were up over the prior year — a trend he hopes would continue into 2018.
The Painted Home
Angie Pritchard, owner of The Painted Home in Downtown Washington, said the Christmas season was good.
Although she is still calculating numbers for 2017, she feels the entire year went quite well and when the finals numbers are in, they will be better than last year.
Target store manger Wes Fowler said the Christmas season was great and toys, like the hard to find Fingerlings and Hatchimals, were the top sellers.
Fowler noted that upgraded Target Christmas merchandise like lights and holiday decor were big sellers and made up a big percentage of overall Christmas profits at the Washington store.
For 2018, Fowler said Target will be upgrading items throughout the store, including in housewares and on the grocery side. Workout equipment and a new Hearth and Home line from Chip and Joanna Gaines will anchor the upgrades.
Maria Blankenship, buyer for Union Furniture, said the holiday season was “wonderful.” She said sales weren’t too far off from last year.
Overall, Blankenship said 2017 was an up year for Union Furniture and she hopes things stay that way in the new year.
The store’s New Year’s Day was one of the best sales days ever, she noted, and the flooring department has been “crazy busy.”
Blankenship anticipates 2018 will be a good year — much better than things were 10 years ago, she said.
Co-owner Mark Noelke said the Washington jewelry store had a “phenomenal” year in 2017. He said sales were up by double digits and cited consumer confidence as the reason.
Diamonds, as usual, were a big seller for Altemueller and several lines did well over the holiday season, he said, including Pandora and LeVian jewelry.
Noelke said 2017 was the best year ever. Heading into 2018, he said the store will continue to focus on building sales, adding product and bolstering its custom design work, which he said has brought in a good amount of business.
Four Seasons Florist
Flowers are popular year-round but, this Christmas season, silk flowers and arrangements outsold fresh cut by a wide margin at Four Seasons Florist, according to owner Julie Prenger.
Prenger said the entire month of December was busy despite a slight slow-down in the summer and the Downtown Washington store had a great 2017.
She added it was nice to see people support small businesses and shop locally throughout the holiday season.
In 2018, the store will get a fresh makeover both inside and out with new lighting, paint and decor.
Westlake Ace Hardware
General Manager Jason Teems said sales at Westlake Ace Hardware, Washington, were fairly flat both for the holiday season and year overall.
However, Teems said that wasn’t a bad thing because 2016 numbers were some of the best ever for the store so keeping pace was good news.
The holiday season started down on Black Friday, but rebounded in December, he said.
Teems said a good sale on an electric smoker was a big reason for the rebound. He said Westlake Ace had “great success” with the smoker.
Improving its barbecue department is a big goal for 2018. Teems said the area has really taken to barbecuing and Westlake Ace plans to become a barbecue destination.
Westlake Ace also plans to have more variety in its plant sales in 2018. Teems said he’s hopeful the year is a good one and early signs are encouraging. He said so far sales are up 11 percent in the first week of the year.
I.B. Nuts & Fruit Too
Owner Barb Hillermann says her store had its best year yet and she has doubled her revenue since purchasing the store in 2011.
Hillermann credits loyal customers who continue to incorporate her business into their holidays.
In 2017, the store saw an increase in corporate gift orders and out-of-town shoppers.
In the new year, Hillermann plans to refresh the website to better accommodate online customers, especially for Valentine’s Day.
Nursery & Florist
Plants sales in December helped boost Christmas sales at Hillermann Nursery & Florist, Washington.
Owner Sandi Hillermann McDonald said Christmas sales were up slightly thanks to a “great” December based largely on strong outdoor plant sales, as well as wildlife items and bird seed.
For the year overall, McDonald said sales were up slightly. She’s optimistic about 2018 and is planning on health and wellness being a big driver of sales.
The store itself is being repainted and some departments are being rearranged and enlarged for the new year, McDonald said.
Assistant Store Manager Jordan Parks said business overall in 2017 was up at the St. Clair store, but Christmas sales were slightly down.
Parks noted Christmas sales the previous year were very strong. Fingerlings was a top seller at the store this holiday season.
It was a busy year at the store, Parks said, and one of the best in terms of sales of the last several years.
He said the store is preparing for its spring rush and he’s excited to see what the next season brings.
Sales were down slightly this past year for Addi’s, one of Downtown Washington’s fashion stops.
Executive Manager Cindy Potts said she expects sales to grow in 2018 with new products, clothing lines and working harder on social media.
She said she’s looking forward to 2018 being a better year for the store.
The Missourian also attempted to contact Appliance Connection/Roettering, Mattress Direct, Gary Lucy Gallery, Schroeder Drug, Michaels and JCPenney.
Big Lots, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lowe’s, Sears and Walgreens said they could not release store information or did not want to participate in the story.
Missourian reporters Joe Barker, Kavahn Mansouri and Monte Miller contributed to this article.