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Local retailers looking forward to expected increase in Ohio holiday shopping

holiday shopping Findlay MArket
Posted at 10:38 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 23:51:19-05

CINCINNATI — The women behind the woodwork at Lucca in Over the Rhine are busy preparing for what they hope is a busy holiday shopping season.

“Things have been ramping up and we’re all just kind of working really hard to get stuff done on time for people for Christmas,” Alex McClay, a photographer, machinist and retail associate, said Tuesday.

The home decor, gift and furniture store is a staple in Findlay Market and McClay said the business is already seeing some of those holiday sales start to stack up.

“Our sales are already higher this year and I can only imagine them going exponentially better this Christmas season,” McClay said.

That’s in line with projections from The Alpaugh Family Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati. The Center worked with the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants on its annual holiday shopping report, which predicts a 7.3% increase in sales across the state compared to the 2020 season.

“It’s a tremendously robust, big number for this year,” Gordon Gough, president and CEO of the council, said. “A lot of indicators in the study that talk about household debt has been decreasing and wages have been going up. I think folks are wanting to go to the stores and spend money.”

That report predicts Ohioans will spend $31.4 billion this year on holiday shopping, which would be an increase from the $29.3 billion spent in 2020 and $27.5 billion in 2019.

At Lucca, the company credits its growth over the years in part to customers who are looking for distinct, original designs from a locally-owned business.

“It’s affordable and unique and people can say, I got that at this small business in Cincinnati that’s women-owned,” McClay said.

Lucca is having a Small Business Saturday sale this week offering 20 percent off all products in-store and online from Friday through Sunday. It will also have a Cyber Monday sale offering 20 percent off and free shipping on its website on November 29.

The shop is also in the process of opening a new studio and furniture store on 124 E 13th Street, providing more space for machines to cut and engrave their wood products. It expects to open the new location in January.