Christmas tree retailer happy with sales
One indicator of Christmas shopping levels in The Bahamas is Christmas tree sales, and according to one retailer, this year’s sales have been good.
“Before the end of the day, the way it’s looking, we’re going to run out totally, so we’re really pleased about that,”Sydney Albury, proprietor of the Christmas Tree depot on Thompson Boulevard toldGuardian Businessyesterday morning. Albury estimated that about five dozen trees were left on the lot.
“So far sales have been excellent,”Albury said.
He added that sales usually start around Thanksgiving, but they really picked up during the first week of December and continued to grow. The best sales period came around December 16 to 20, according to Albury. After December 21st he said that the’discounters’would be out looking for a deal and sales typically contracted as the season draws to a close.
Compared to last year’s sales, this year’s have been”a whole lot better,”said Albury, who added that an analysis of this year’s sales in comparison to previous years is not done until the end of the season, so he did not have any hard numbers yet. To illustrate the difference compared to last year, the Christmas tree retailer said his business ended up having to discard many trees after Christmas 2009.
Business, though up from last year, still had not returned to the levels of previous years, he said. Albury said his business employed a strategy of bringing inventory in stages, to maximize the freshness of the trees for the customer. He had two full turnovers this year, but it was usually as high as three or four times per season, and as high as five times about seven years ago.
The cost of acquiring and landing trees this year was up on previous years, according to Albury, who cited higher freight costs as being a part of the reason. He said that his business had absorbed the extra costs, but that he was still quite pleased with overall sales results. Albury imports his trees from the Carolinas, but did not want to disclose any additional details about their origin.
“We deal strictly with Frasier firs, known to be the best among Christmas trees because of their high sap content,”Albury said. He added that once the trees are properly maintained–well watered but not to the point where water stands stagnant in the tree holder for a long time–the trees would stay green and hold their leaves longer.