Local Stores Battle For Holiday Sales

If you think big box stores are the only ones having merchandise flying of the shelves, think again.

Harvest Drug and Gift has sold more items this holiday season than ever before. The store has an 11% increase in sales. To make that happen employees had to tweak their selling techniques. Owner Janet Beard says the reason is because it's hard to top last year's sales when more and more people are now buying on the Internet.

"We've had to look at ourselves and understand customer service and customer appreciation and that's something that local independents have that you can't get through the Internet, said Beard.

But it's not just customer service that has helped boost sales.

Beard says, "This year we've really had to focus on brand names that customers know. Whether it's Vera Bradley, Pandora, Ugg, those are names that people know nationally but here you can buy in a local store."

But not all is good news for local stores. The Corner Emporium downtown is experiencing the opposite with very little sales this season.

"Normally during the week it's been very very slow and during the holiday season it's been pretty much the same," said RD Waller, the store's manager.

Waller says even though the store is the biggest antique shop in Wichita Falls, it's hard to get people in when there's no money for advertising and the location doesn't help.

Waller says, "They should promote downtown because what do you have downtown? The businesses or if anybody comes here to build, where do they build? Way on out!"

Waller has been relying on flyers to get the word out about promotions and get sales rolling.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6