Johnson City, Tennessee (WJHL) – As holiday shopping continues, small business owners in downtown Johnson City say they are seeing more and more customers each year.
Lindsey Jones, deputy director of Main Street, said findings from local businesses showed a 60 per cent increase in shopper traffic over the Christmas period from 2019 to 2021.
They saw a 40% to 50% increase in sales from holiday shopping to downtown dining during that time, Jones said. Results for 2020 were excluded due to the pandemic.
Jones said she believed the increase in shoppers was due to the increase in population size in the area.
“I think we’re going to continue to grow downtown,” Jones said. “We’ve got more people moving here, more people interested in Johnson City.”
Business owners like Michael Short of Artisans Village are happy to see more people line up at their checkout lines.
“Since the beginning of the year, our sales have been growing almost consistently,” Short said. “This time of year is absolutely critical and we have to be good to get through the rest of the year.”
Jones estimates there are more than 200 businesses in downtown Johnson City, and new ones continue to pop up, such as the Terrarium Plant Store.
Terrarium opened just over a year ago, and Sluder says it’s been busy.
“Black Friday and Small Business Saturday last week were great,” Sluder said. “We were really surprised by how high our turnout was. We feel really supported right now and we’re really excited about Friday night’s ‘Sip, Shop and Stroll’.”
At the event, local businesses will continue to promote local Christmas shopping by offering discounts and drinks.
Tickets are $15. More information can be found here.