Vermont Retailers Report Sustained Holiday Sales Despite Supply Chain Issues
Vermont retailers are reporting sustained holiday sales despite issues with the supply chain.
Mail-order sales at Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpellier offset a slight decline in in-person sales, said managing director Jake Shattuck.
âThe phones are ringing all the time, and people are really trying to place their orders, and we do our best to get them through on a timely basis,â Shattuck said.
He said a lot of people are coming in too. He said Morse Farm paraphernalia like t-shirts were selling fast, along with candy, samplers and gift boxes of maple syrup and pancake and waffle mixes.
“They are taking everything,” he said.
Catherine Davis, Speaker of the Lake Champlain Chamber, said food and drink sells particularly well.
the most recent sales statistics available for Vermont go back to August and show that retail sales this month jumped 10.7% from August 2020. But these statistics have a huge margin of error – plus or minus 7% – and, of course, say nothing about holiday sales.
Davis said a manufacturer that supplies retail stores told him 2020 is their best year and 2021 is on track to overtake 2020.
On the other hand, supply issues have been a challenge, she said.
âIf someone buys the last of something, it might be the last they can sell this holiday season,â Davis said.
Carol Metayer encountered this problem at Farm-Way, the outdoor equipment store in Bradford of which she is president.
âSome of our North Face clothes don’t arrive until Christmas,â said Metayer.
The socks were also a challenge. Although wool socks are made in the United States, some manufacturers don’t have enough wool, she said.
Metayer said some vendors have had problems hiring enough people to make, package and ship their products.
But typically, she said, inventory builds up after months of supply chain issues.
âWe have a lot of boots,â said Metayer. âWe have a lot of rackets. We have a lot of jackets.
Metayer said that in addition to outdoor equipment, smokers and cooking utensils are selling well.
âBusiness has been good,â said Metayer. “It’s been very busy.”
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