Tourism bolstering soft local sales

Justin Crann
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It has been a quiet Christmas shopping season for some local retailers.

Dave Pelletier shows off one of his handmade dreamcatchers at Moosgaw Art and Gifts on Sunday. Pelletier said the season has been quite good for him, but other retailers are struggling.

"I have customers walk in who say that even as they're going around town, it's just not as happening," said Rick Klein, owner of Clothes Encounter. "It just doesn't seem as busy. Maybe people are traveling to other cities, but I think a lot of it is just online (shopping).

"Once a customer spends their money, it's gone," he added. "So I think we're competing (with a larger market), even including electronics."

Darlene Stillborn said the Hallmark Store at Town 'n' Country Mall has also been slower this season, but that things have "picked up" in the last few days.

"It seems like there's a lot of last-minute shoppers," she said. "The card sales have been going quite well. If Saturday was any indication, business for the last few days should be quite good."

Klein agreed that business has picked up as Christmas gets closer.

"Saturday was very busy … the weekends are still quite busy in Moose Jaw, especially with rural people. We still draw very well in the city," he said. "But we rely more on the local business during the week, and that's when we're finding it's quieter."

Dave Pelletier, the owner of Moosgaw Art and Gifts, said business has been "fairly good" with "a lot of out-of-town people coming in."

"Tourism is always great in downtown Moose Jaw, and this is always a good time for folks to get out and about and see what we have here," he said. "We have quite a few people who say they love coming to Moosgaw, and that it's one of the most unique shops anywhere in the country."

What makes Moosgaw unique?

"We make our own dreamcatchers and some jewellery. We have some artwork by local artists. I do some of it my self, and we have Lorraine Fish … that's what we mean by unique," explained Pelletier.

"A lot of it is things made by residents of Moose Jaw, and you just can't get it anywhere else."

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter or like him on Facebook.

Organizations: Hallmark Store, Moosgaw Art

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Country Mall

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