Local stores get boost from holiday sales

Although many people headed off to big-box retailers on Black Friday for their holiday shopping, others still chose to shop locally.

The local commerce in Charleston has been doing especially well this holiday season.

Bryce Reissteck, assistant manager at Charleston’s Rural King, said the store has been experiencing an increase in consumers.

“People have been coming out to shop every day,” he said. “We have increased numbers from last year. We’ve had more customers and transactions overall.”

Troy Tolan, sales clerk at Positively Fourth Street, said the store also has been doing well.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in holiday shopping so far,” he said. “More and more people are needing help picking out Christmas gifts.”

Allison Kostelich, first assistant manager at Charleston’s Maurices, said the store has been experiencing a good shopping season.

“(The holiday season) has been really good for our store and the company in general,” Kostelich said.

Many shoppers often choose local stores for their exclusive inventory. These stores provide consumers with merchandise that they often cannot find elsewhere.

“We don’t really have any other competition other than the bookstore for Eastern clothing,” Tolan said. “There’s really no other place like this in town. It’s almost an hour drive for (any place) comparable.”

Since local stores are smaller and more personal, they are able to do things that mass chains cannot, such as customized purchases.

“We do special orders, which is nice,” Tolan said. “We do custom T-shirts and sweatshirts. And if we don’t have something in stock (in the store), we can order it (for the customer).”

Although sometimes online shopping can take away from local business, in some instances, it can actually be beneficial for certain stores.

“It helps (Maurices) because if we don’t have the sizes people need, we can have it shipped here to the store,” Kostelich said. “We have a good relationship with ecommerce.”

Reissteck said he believes online shopping helps keep the customers informed.

“(The customers) know more what they want rather than coming in blind,” he said. “They are doing more of their own research and know what they need.”

At stores like Rural King, customers can find a variety of items to fulfill their shopping needs.

“We have a good toy section,” Reissteck said. “More than anything, (people buy) the main products, such as animal feeds, hunting season items and sporting goods.”

Rural King also offered customers some deals.

“A gun safe was marked down quite a bit,” Reissteck said. “We also had a bunch of power tools and tool sets.”

Kostelich explained some of the best-advertised deals at Maurices.

“We have polar fleeces and jeans for $19.90 each,” she said. “The under $20 sales tend to be good.”

Kostelich also said some of the most popular items this season at Maurices are the “jeggings” and boots.

Kostelich expects the holiday shopping season to continue strongly.

“We expect it to stay pretty steady,” she said. “People are coming in now shopping for a certain person for their holiday gifts.”

Sara Hall can be reached at 581-7944 or

[email protected].