MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Retail sales in the United States this holiday season were up compared to the previous two seasons, according to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse.
Mastercard analyzed sales between Nov. 1 and Christmas Eve and found retail sales grew by 8.5% over 2020 and 10.7% over 2019. The figures do not include auto sales.
In Myrtle Beach, Retro Active owner Amy Leonard said 2021 was the store’s best year ever. She said every month was up double digits in sales compared to 2019.
“We’re definitely up over everything we’ve ever done,” Leonard said. “Busiest year we’ve ever had.”
Located inside Broadway at the Beach, Leonard’s shop leans on tourism in Myrtle Beach. She said that means the holidays are not necessarily make. Strong sales this holiday season were the cherry on top of an already good year of business.
“It’s great bonus sales at the end of the year for us,” Leonard said. “We end the year on a high note before we go into the very slow season of January and February.”
Leonard said she hopes the trend continues into next year with the holiday season serving as a jumping point for next year.
“I’m really hoping that 2022 can be as good as 2021 for sales,” Leonard said. “That would be awesome. That would take us into territory that we have never experienced before, so we’re very excited about the way this year has gone.”
At Beach Hobbies in Myrtle Beach, owner Brent Densford echoed Leonard about the importance of a strong holiday season carrying a small business into the new year.
“I think for the most part, you wouldn’t say we depend on it but we need to grow to progress and move forward,” Densford said.
This holiday season was Densford’s ninth in business. He said he’s noticed changes in shoppers since he first opened up.
“The shopping habits have changed,” Densford said. “A lot of people are buying online. They’re doing a lot of different things.”
Densford added that the top thing he’s learned while in business is that the community is willing to help each other out and support small businesses in the area.
“I think that’s for the most part the big thing is people supporting their local businesses not trying to buy everything big box store or online,” Densford said.