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Holiday Sales Period Strong, But Not The Strongest, For Small Houston Retailers

Small businesses in Houston make more money in the spring.

Chris Paul/Houston Public Media
Christmas decorations at Highland Village

Between Black Friday and Christmas Eve last year, the average small Houston retailer made $1,089 per day, according to small business data firm Womply, which analyzed credit card transactions at small retailers during 2018.

That's up 11.6% over the average daily revenue, but it's not the best sales period of the year.

Womply's vice president of corporate marketing, Brad Plothow, said that's an anomaly compared to other cities.

"Of the Top 10 days of the year, for Houston retailers last year, none of them fell during the holiday season," he said. "They were all around Mother's Day and in the early spring and in February."

But Plothow expects that the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will benefit retailers, including in Houston.

The analysis found that last minute shopping is boosting sales at local stores.

"One thing that online retail can't deliver on is that as you get closer to the holidays, shipping becomes a problem," he said. "Even the ‘what if' of ‘is it going to arrive' is in the back of procrastinators' heads and that does compel them to go into brick-and-mortar businesses."

Womply also found that small Houston retailers got a 30% sales boost on Small Business Saturday – the Saturday after Thanksgiving, created by American Express to be a shopping day for local stores.

However, they're benefitting more from Black Friday – usually thought of as a big sales day at big-box retailers.

Courtesy of Womply
The graph shows 2018 small retail sales bumps in early spring leading up to Mother’s Day, the summer back-to-school shopping season and the Christmas holiday season.
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