Shopping local in Lethbridge | CTV News
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. –
Friday was one of the busiest shopping days of the year as Lethbridge residents went out in full force to pick up last minute Christmas gifts.
“We waited until the last minute because it was so cold,” said Darcy Dubitz. “I live in Taber and have been waiting for the roads to get better to come in and get some stocking fillers.”
As for Maxwell Wiebe, he ordered a gift online but due to shipping delays his order won’t arrive until after Christmas which has forced him to pick up some gifts before Christmas.
“I’m usually the guy who goes shopping in November, but this year I’ve been a little busy,” Wiebe said.
As shoppers tick those last-minute gift ideas off their lists, cool temperatures this week are preparing businesses for a busy Christmas Eve.
“We definitely jumped,” said Nancy Graham, manager of Cupper’s Coffee and Tea. “The cold hasn’t been good for everyone but we kept it really warm and friendly and happy in here and it bounced. It’s very busy today and I think it will stay that way until we close tomorrow.”
As for Maxwell Wiebe, he ordered a gift online but with delays in shipping he says his order won’t arrive until after Christmas which has forced him to pick up some gifts before Christmas.
After a few slow years due to pandemic restrictions, some business owners say inflation and the rising cost of living are having an impact this season.
“It’s not really the same supply and demand issues as last year, but the cost of goods has gone up, shipping costs and all that,” said Audrina Steciw, owner of Decor out the Door.
According to Steciw, more and more people are choosing to shop locally, but it took a while for business to pick up.
“For most people, the anticipation of Christmas or the start of Christmas preparations and shopping started a little later this year than last year,” Steciw said.
Despite all of this, owners say that shopping locally at Christmas helps keep the lights on and the local economy thriving.
“We really love it when people come in looking for these unique things that we can offer, and it’s nice to be able to hold back the dollars in the community instead of losing them,” said Cami Tanner, owner of The Herbal Apothecary.
“We’ve had so much support from the community,” Tanner added. “We’re so grateful to everyone who came out, shopped locally, attended the celebrations downtown, and enjoyed the Christmas cheer downtown.”
With many waiting for the last minute, the remaining days before Christmas tend to be the busiest for businesses, according to Economic Development Lethbridge’s Trevor Lewington.
“There’s research that says every dollar invested in the local economy has a seven-dollar multiplier effect,” Lewington said. “So by not spending on Amazon or not importing from somewhere else, but actually going to this local business or locally owned franchise, you are actually investing in our community right here, which is important to create and strengthen jobs in Lethbridge.”
Although sales picked up in December, local stores are reminding customers to continue this support over the coming months.
“January, February and March tend to be quieter times, so don’t forget about those deals,” Graham said. “We’re still here, we’re still looking for support.”
If you still need to do some shopping, most local shops are open on Christmas Eve.