CHICO — Now that the Christmas shopping crush has swept in and out of Chico, what is it like for employees out working in the world of retail?
Anika Rodriguez has owned downtown Chico store Anika Burke since 2013, located at 211 Main St. She sells clothing and personal care items for both men and women, jewelry and other accessories, and even sells gardening tools. She said garden pruners were a hot selling item during Christmas. Rodriguez said that business has been busy even following Christmas and surprisingly, there haven’t been a lot of returns. After Christmas, the next busy shopping time is in February, because girls are buying prom dresses.
Rodriguez said that sales have decreased since the pandemic started. Anika Burke delivers items and its website, where shopping can be done, is www.shop.anikaburke.com.
Over at Party Town, at 1937 E. 20th St., which sells party decorations and supplies, employee Brianna Tubbs said that New Year’s Eve, not Christmas, is the store’s busy time of year. This is closely followed by Valentine’s Day, Easter and graduation. She says balloons are the most popular item.
Oh’shinnah Bluewolf, assistant manager at Sally Beauty also located at 1937 E. 20th St., says that December is actually a slow time at her store.
“It’s been slow compared to last year,” Bluewolf said. “People are not making beauty supplies a priority.”
Bluewolf said that semi-permanent hair dye is a popular seller, and is popular all year long. Bluewolf is a Butte College student and plans to go to school next year to study to be an esthetician. She said that business picks up around 5 p.m. on weekdays when most people are getting off of work. She also said soft hair masks are popular all year.
Halloween is also a busy time, and prom season, when girls come in to buy hair color and nail polish. Sally Beauty also delivers items through Uber Eats two hours per day during the month of December if a customer orders by 4 p.m.
Kelly Leser is the owner of Urban Couture, at 245 Broadway in downtown Chico. She said popular items in her store are clothes and shoes, and especially the Free People brand. Leser is opening up a men’s store in the basement of her building, which opens January 1.
She said business has been consistent. Leser is very grateful for the support of the Chico community.
“The community has been extremely supportive,” Leser said. “They make it a point to shop local and to support local merchants.”
Leser’s store used to be located on Main Street, but opened up on Broadway in September 2020.
Clint Mosier, Urban Couture store manager, said that he is happy about the community’s support.
“They trust us for fashion advice,” Mosier said. “Business has been pretty good. It’s nice to see everyone down here. We get a lot of support from the community.”
Carey Davis has been a sales clerk at Kat’s Meow for 14 years. The children’s clothing store is located at 138 W. Third St. in downtown Chico.
Davis said Christmas was a busy time, especially because customers weren’t able to buy what they needed at the box stores, so they came in to Kat’s Meow.
“We were fully stocked,” Davis said. “We were very busy as far as toy sales. Walmart didn’t have what people were looking for.”
Davis said the squishy balls, which come in neon colors and are like large versions of stress balls, are very popular with children and adults as well. Another popular item is fidget toys.
Davis said during the winter people shop at Kat’s Meow looking for winter clothes such as hats, clothes and mittens.
“When it gets cold people come in looking for winter stuff,” Davis said.
Davis said business picks up around Easter and other holidays during the year. She said back to school is also a popular time, and summer.
“People need outdoor activity items and pool toys,” she said.
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