Local Business Gets a Christmas Boost

Christmas Gift Show is Bringing Convenience to your Holiday Shopping!

STORY BY: SARAH E. MEYERS

The inaugural Christmas Gift Show comes to the Southport-Oak Island Area, highlighting local retailers and restaurateurs while bringing convenience to holiday shopping.

On Sunday, November 20th from 1pm- 5pm at the St. James Community Building, locals and visitors will have the opportunity to shop-till-they-drop in one timesaving location. In addition to having all the area’s favorite local retailers right at their fingertips, attendees will have a chance to win a $300 Gift Local Card for registering at the event.

According to Fortune Magazine, sales at physical store locations fell 6.7% during the 2015 holiday season. This loss is largely due to the convenience of online shopping, which can be troublesome for local brick-and-mortar retailers. However, it’s not all bad news for local merchants. A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation found that, “one in four holiday shoppers (24%) are planning to “shop small” and purchase gifts and other holiday items such as decorations and food at a small or local retail business.” The Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce is looking to reach the 24% (or more) that plan on “shopping small” this holiday season and add the missing edge of accessibility that our technology-driven era seems to require.

As explained in the Chamber’s mission statement, part of their purpose is to “advance the general welfare of its members and the prosperity of the area so that all citizens and all areas of its business community shall prosper.” With the Gift Show falling the week before Shop Small Saturday (SMS) (the campaign started by American Express in 2010 to celebrate and support small businesses) participating vendors of the show will be providing exclusive coupons for attendees to use on Saturday, November 26th. This will hopefully drive consumers into the retailer’s physical location which will encourage repeat business above and beyond the annual gift show event.

The Christmas Gift Show will also be partnering with The Brunswick County Literacy Council (BCLC) to help bring awareness, funding, and resources to the BCLC organization. Holiday wreathes and centerpieces will be available at a Silent Auction with the proceeds benefitting the BCLC. A book drive will be in full swing during the event, where any book donation will automatically earn one additional raffle ticket towards the $300 Gift Local Card. Organizers are asking for books at the reading level for children 0-12 years old as well as word searches for the senior citizens in the community.

Attendees at the free event will be able to sample food and wine while perusing the booths and picking out the perfect gifts for everyone on their holiday lists. Items will be available for purchase on-site, so it is highly recommended to carry along their favorite pocketbook. Another holiday shopping-tip to cut down on time spent in the dreaded post-office line, is to bring addresses for those out-of-town gifts that are sent. Several of the vendors can ship directly, which saves precious time, money and headaches. For those who purchase gift cards for their holiday giving, the Christmas Gift Show is a handy and easy way to purchase those in one location as well.

If there are enough good little boys and girls, Santa has said he might even make an appearance at the end of the night to read his favorite Christmas book and wish everyone a very happy holiday season.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce at 910.457.6964 or email at events@ southport-oakisland.com.

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