’Twas a merry merchant Christmas

Kitimat retailers received their own Christmas present after a long, difficult year fraught with uncertainty.

Kitimat retailers received their own Christmas present after a long, difficult year fraught with uncertainty.

And they look forward to a healthy 2011.

Members of the Haisla Nation received an $8,000 per person dividend late last year as a result of KLNG buying out the Haisla’s option in the proposed liquefied natural gas plant.

Which in turn had a positive economic affect in Kitimat.

“We had an extra little bonus in town this this fall so it turned out to be a fairly good Christmas,” Linda Pitzel of BookMasters/The Source said.

“If there was a saving grace, it had to be the money that was given to the Haisla,” echoed Derek deGoeij of Sears.

Other retailers reported the same positive sales over Christmas, helping offset lower sales through the rest of the year.

“We did probably $6,000 to $8,000 more than we did the previous year,” said Heather Masch of Pyramid Office Supplies.

Due to challenges in the local economy, primarily related to the Eurocan closure, retail sales were reported down through most of the year, making the Christmas sales an unexpected surprise.

Trish Parsons of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce also attributes the Christmas sales volume to greater economic certainty in Kitimat.

“I think a lot of that was people knew where they were at whereas the previous year there were a lot of unknowns,” she explained.

The Chamber also ran the Christmas in Kitimat passport books which provided an incentive for shoppers to plan their Christmas shopping in Kitimat.

Parsons said 112 completed passports were returned to the Chamber for entry into a draw.

“When you start doing the calculations, there’s a fair bit of money moving throughout the community,” she pointed out.

For most businesses in the retail sector, Christmas sales provide income to carry them through the first and second quarters of the year, which tend to have lower sales volumes.

With the unexpected bump in sales, Kitimat retailers expect to have a healthy 2011.

Parsons said the Chamber of Commerce believes Kitimat has reached it’s economic bottom and expects the coming year will see more economic growth in the community.

“People are very optimistic, there’s lot’s of things starting to happen.”

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Most Read