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Holiday Business Booms Despite Mass. ‘Blue Laws’

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — With one less shopping weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, two weekend storms and blue laws preventing Massachusetts stores from opening on Thanksgiving, it could have been a dismal season for businesses across the state.

But according to one local business owner we spoke to, it wasn’t.

“We had a phenomenal season. We really did. Overall we really had an excellent season this year,” said Brad DiMiero, owner of Brad Matthew Jewelers in Holyoke.

DiMiero says he does about 30 percent more business on the weekends than during the week. Even though there was one less weekend this year between thanksgiving and Christmas, he says his business is still up, and it seems that is the case statewide.

“Last year, we ended up at about 2.7 percent growth and again the average is about 3 percent, so we were below average last year and it looks like we are going to be well above average this year,” explained Ryan Kearney, General Council for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

A projected 3.5 percent to be exact, but it could have been even better if the Massachusetts ‘Blue Laws’ didn’t prohibit shops from opening on Thanksgiving Day.

“Nationally, it was estimated that about 45 million people shopped on Thanksgiving day,” said Kearney. “Obviously, as a result, Massachusetts businesses missed out on millions of dollars in sales.”

While it may be true, some retailers don’t think the extra day in sales is worth it.

“No, I wouldn’t even consider it. I’m into family,” said DiMiero. “For me, personally, I don’t think that impacts my business at all.”

The Retailers Association of Mass. says that while the holidays are over, the shopping season is not. Retailers see increased sales right through the New Year as gift cards are redeemed and incidental purchases are made when recipients return or exchange gifts.

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