Hope for the holidays: Christmas shops in the Cape Fear plan for a boost in sales

Christmas shops hoping for big season in New Hanover County

NEW HANOVER/BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - As many of us finish putting up our holiday decor, making our shopping list, and listening to the classic Christmas songs, some have been doing that all year long.

There are several specialty Christmas shops in the Cape Fear; they sell Christmas decor and gifts all year long. For some, it’s been a tough year. Noel Stevens has owned ChristmaSea Holiday Shop in Carolina Beach for three years and says this year has been the most challenging by far. She says they have to take it day-by-day.

“If we can make the rent this month... everyone was very lenient and allowing whatever we needed to do... either pay late or or make it up and assume that we’ll make it up in November and December, which we have, but just like when’s the next shutdown?” said Stevens. “What’s going to come after that?”

Stevens and Deb Woody, the owner of A Christmas Shoppe in downtown Wilmington, said when they placed orders for product from China earlier in the year, it got canceled. That played a major role in getting their store stocked and Woody says she is still catching up.

“There’s nothing to compare this year to. It has been interesting,” said Woody.

Woody has owned her store for about 14 years. She said she’s had to become flexible during the pandemic; offer delivery and shipping, start a website, and get into the mask making businesses. All of those things, she says, have kept her store open.

“I now have an online presence, which I didn’t have, which has tremendously been an asset,” said Woody. “It’s just been anything we can to make a sale.”

Ann Endres has owned The Christmas House in Southport for 23 years. She said it was tough at first, but since September, business has been better than ever.

“None of us knew if we would be open in the summer, even if we’d be open at Christmas,” said Endres. “I mean, it was it was a pretty scary time.”

She believes it’s because children were learning from home for the most part which allowed families to take vacations in the fall that they didn’t take in the summer.

“I think everybody’s so happy to get nice decorations out and just some joy in their house and joy in their life,” said Endres. “And it’s great. It’s going to be wonderful Christmas.”

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