Local businesses see rise in retail sales - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local businesses see rise in retail sales


By Bonnie Shelton

STEVENS POINT (WAOW)--According to the Commerce Department, retail sales are on the rise for the eighth straight month. Businesses in downtown Stevens Point said they've seen more people spending.

The sound of the cash register opening is a welcome one for businesses like Robin's Nest Gifts. Owner Debbie Werra said people are buying more on impulse these days.

"I see more people purchasing things for themselves rather than just gift items for other people. They are starting to purchase things for their home," she said.

A new report found that Americans are spending more money on cars, clothing and home goods. The Commerce Departments study found that retail sales rose one percent in February after jumping up two percent in January.

Werra said she's seen a difference since Christmas. "People are coming in and saying 'oh isn't that cute' and they pick it up."

Sarah Robinson, Director of the Downtown Business Association, said the warmer temperatures help, too. "We have seen an increase in foot traffic. That doesn't always translate into purchases, but definitely as we move into spring season, things start to warm up and people come out of hibernation," she said.

She says a wealth of cultural businesses also drive foot traffic downtown, which can lead to spending. Warmer temperatures also means ice cream and other warm weather treats scoop up profits.

For Werra, a change in seasons also means increased buying. 

"Spring is always a really big time for me because people are so tired of the snow here in Wisconsin that they just can't wait to see the spring colors," she said.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton


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