Downtown businesses says local shoppers are out in force this holiday season

  • Simply Birkenstock sales representative Adam Sloat prepares to put custom tee shirts on the shelf at the store in downtown Concord on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Sloat said that these tee shirts are one of the few items that have had supply issues ahead of the Christmas season. They come from Arizona produced by a husband and wife speciality shop. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Manager Andrea Svensonn organizes and stocks holiday albums at Pitchfork Records. Ben Domaingue / Monitor staff

  • Simply Birkenstock sales representative Adam Sloat stacks pants at the store in downtown Concord on Thursday. Sloat said there were very few supply issues at that store and that sales were up this Christmas season. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Simply Birkenstock sales representative Adam Sloat prepares to put custom tee shirts on the shelf at the store in downtown Concord on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Sloat said that these tee shirts are one of the few items that have had supply issues ahead of the Christmas season. They come from Arizona produced by a husband and wife speciality shop. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Christmas decorations hang in the window at Cobblestone Design Company on North Main Street in Concord on Nov. 17. Geoff Forester / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 12/2/2021 4:32:32 PM

Charlie Moulton, manager of Simply Birkenstock in downtown Concord, is in charge of making sure his store has an ample supply of international and small lot brands of shoes and apparel, like Kuhl clothing, Giesswein wool footwear and Bed Stu handmade shoes and boots, not to mention stacks of the world’s most iconic sandals.

Despite global shipping delays, his vendors have continued to deliver products with little issue.

“We have been lucky,” Moulton said. “Despite some minor hiccups, business has been fantastic. That’s not to say that we don’t have some areas or some freak little things that are just not available.”

With rumors of pandemic-fueled supply chain constraints and long shipping times this holiday season, local businesses said shopping has been brisk even if some of their products are out of stock.

Moulton said Simply Birkenstock has seen the busiest November on record since its founding in 2011. 

“It’s a great community. Downtown is just getting better than ever,” said Moulton. “I think the media got the word out to shop early to be able to get what you want, but I also think people just want to support local.” 

Things are Cooking, a kitchen supply retailer, experienced a substantial increase in business during Black Friday compared to years past.

“It seems like a lot of people are buying local, shopping early, to make sure that they get what they want because of the supply chain,” said store owner Diane Beauregard. “We actually have not had a lot of issue with that. Overall it hasn’t been too bad.” 

Beauregard expressed difficulties in purchasing certain knife sets from her vendors, as well as certain KitchenAid products. However, many of these products have been substituted for other brands as needed. 

“We have been able to adapt relatively easily,” said Beauregard. “We haven’t had any employee shortages because we’re family.” 

Florist Cobblestone Design Company has experienced some difficulty with their vendors for the holidays, especially with holiday wreaths and garlands. But even as the flow of goods is slowed compared to previous years, business has continued to increase

“A lot busier this year, and earlier in the year,” said manager Tony Santana. “I think people are in the mood for something semi-normal, and decorating the house is a big part of what we offer.”

Half-stocked shelves remain a main factor for many Americans turning towards second-hand purchasing in an effort to save money for the upcoming holiday season. Pitchfork Records, which carries a large supply of second-hand CDs and records, has struggled to get deliveries of new merchandise.

“We have a ton of things on backorder,” said Andrea Svensson, manager of Pitchfork Records. “We are still waiting for new vinyl and CDs to come in for the holidays.” 

The shortage has meant more customers thumbing through rows and rows of top quality used records and CDs, especially if they want to gift a certain tune to a friend or loved one. 

“It seems like most of the stores downtown have a lot of things in stock,” said Eric Bilodeau, a customer at Pitchfork Records. “A whole bunch of new shops seem to be opening up for the smaller ticket items.” 

Other customers agreed. John Riley, who is only shopping local, said he has had little trouble finding gifts for his family this holiday season. 

“We usually shop local,” said Riley. “We hardly buy anything online.”




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