Palm Beach County business owners happy with holiday sales surge

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — With just a few days left until the end of the year, retailers have something to cheer about.Early estimates point to holiday sales close to 8%.

Holiday sales rose 7.6%, down from an 8.5% increase last year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks a range of payment methods including cash and debit cards. The report showed that apparel sales rose 4.4 percent, jewelry and electronics sales fell about 5 percent and personal consumption rose about 6.8 percent.

Business owners in downtown Lake Worth Beach are celebrating a successful holiday season.

Shane Logan, who owns the Dancing Elephant bookstore downtown, said the holiday season was more of a rush than he expected.

“It’s crazy. What we used to do on busy weekends, we now do on weekdays, numerically,” Logan said. “During the holidays, it more than doubled.”

Shane Logan said his bookstore was doing very well during the holidays.

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Shane Logan said his bookstore was doing very well during the holidays.

But he’s learning more about preparing for next year.

“You have to be really on top, or you’re going to be behind,” Logan said. “You could have a completely gutted part, and you could miss out on someone who was passing by.”

Logan opened its store in August and had its biggest sales since its opening week on Tuesday. He said he was gearing up for a Christmas sale, but shoppers overtook him.

“I think we underestimated how busy we were going to be,” he said.

Joe Lipovich owns Lilo’s Streetfood and Bar, also in downtown Lake Worth Beach.

Restaurateur Joe Lipovich said he expects his sales to increase as the tourist season gets underway.

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Restaurateur Joe Lipovich said he expects his sales to increase as the tourist season gets underway.

“Christmas week has been a strong week for us,” Lipovich said. “We anticipated that. We’re growing at a rate, and we’re doing that through the Christmas period.”

He is looking forward to a strong season ahead.

“As the way Lake Worth is configured, it has more housing and homes, so our season doesn’t really start until after the president [Day] Weekends, but Christmas week was great,” Lipovich said. “It didn’t get out of hand, but from what we usually get here, it’s been good.

A more comprehensive picture of holiday spending will be revealed next month when the National Retail Federation releases its combined report for November and December.