DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As shoppers made their final purchases this weekend, local businesses are sharing insight with the holiday sales season wrapping up.
"We've been doing better than we did last year sales-wise," said Wendy Sease, owner of Indio.
Sease opened the store eight-and-a-half years ago, and credits increased name recognition, as well as better product sourcing, as two key drivers behind improved sales figures.
"The challenge is creating a space that still captivates people and excites people when they all can sit in front of their computer at home and entertain themselves shopping," Sease explained.
She's also felt the impact of the city's booming population. According to US Census Estimates, the city's population has increased by about 25% since 2010.
"Literally multiple times a week somebody who comes in who just moved to Durham and they're like, 'I just moved here from San Francisco. This reminds me of my shop back home.' 'I just moved here from Texas.' 'I just moved here from Brooklyn," Sease said.
About a mile away, Jewelsmith is one of the city's oldest businesses, opening in 1976. The store has attracted generations of customers, including the Schooler family. Saturday, Vincent Schooler stopped by the store with his mother to pick up gifts.
"It's special. My (mom) and my dad raised (my brother and I). And we're both physicians and it's a special time to be with her during the holiday," said Schooler, a Durham native who noted his family has been shopping at the store for 25 years.
President and Manager Kristine Wylie said holiday sales have been strong and are in-line with last year, which saw a big bump over 2021.
"We're very fortunate," said Wylie.
To account for social distancing during the pandemic, the shop altered its procedures.
"We want to be able to focus on you and have a time-set appointment. Appointments started during COVID," Wylie explained. They've largely kept the practice, though they still welcome walk-ups.
The store has also expanded its marketing, utilizing print, radio and social media.
"We're trying to expand into more of a digital presence. We've been doing a lot more campaigns that are geared towards different generations and our younger generations because they're more on digital platforms than ever before," Wylie said.
Jewelsmith creates the bulk of its products on-site.
"It definitely helps us control the pricing and be able to stay in that same structure that our clients are used to," said Wylie.
According to forecasts from the National Retail Federation, holiday sales (defined as sales between November 1st and December 31st) are expected to grow between 3-4% this year over 2022, a growth rate in-line with averages between 2010-2019.