Merchants in Belleville’s downtown core are definitely feeling the festive spirit.
Now that construction for phase two of the downtown revitalization is long wrapped up, many say they are seeing an increase in shoppers and just in time.
With less than 10 shopping days left until Christmas, Kathryn Brown, owner of Kate’s Kitchen said they have seen a tremendous amount of people coming downtown.
“Shoppers are looking for something different, something that you won’t find in big box stores,” Brown smiled.
Kevin Bongard, co-owner of Stephen Licence Bicycle and Hobbies agreed there has been a noticeable increase in traffic with a lot more people browsing downtown.
Orlena Cain of All Good Things Home Shop added she too has noticed more people in the downtown, now with construction complete.
“It looks amazing and more people are coming down to enjoy it and shop local,” Cain said.
For Katie Newman it’s very important to shop local.
“It’s something that I really enjoy because I think it’s what brings a community together,” the Belleville native explained pointing to how it’s a core piece of a lot of cities. “I really want to support people who are trying to do things themselves and really create their own products. It makes a city a lot better and I really like to support that.”
Karen Shaw of Belleville Sport and Lawn echoed Cain’s sentiments that people are spending more locally this year.
Like Belleville Sport and Lawn, Christmas is always a busy time for Pinnacle Music Studios. Ken Harnden said so far this year business has been good.
Richard Belanger, owner of Scallywag Toys, admitted he has noticed shopping trends drop a little compared to last year. He said it was booming in November this year and has slowed down a bit this month. He noted his unique store doesn’t sell “trendy” items or what the ‘fashion of the day’ is so that may be a contributing factor.
“We specialize in everyday brand games and toys such as puzzles and Lego,” Belangier beamed.
“Great Christmas items for the young and the young at heart.”