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Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

Make or break season

By Aidan Briggs

Holiday season is shopping season. Though it’s always a stressful experience trying to find gifts for everyone you care about around the holidays, the ability to shop online has made it easier. With one click, shoppers can have gifts sent right to their door, rather than going out in person. According to a Grips Intelligence report, $53 billion has already been spent on e-commerce during the 2023 holiday season (defined by the report as the start of November to the current day). 

Lift Bridge Bookstore in Brockport, NY, Dec. 8, 2023 (Photo via Aidan Briggs).

While it’s become easier for people to shop this way, local business owners are not happy about the shift. November and December has always been the most profitable time of year for stores as days like Black Friday have allowed for sales and a lot of money spent in their stores, due to the rise in demand to find gifts. Brockport has plenty of stores located on the side of the canal that make for a perfect holiday shopping experience. Sarah Bonczyk, co-owner of Lift Bridge Bookstore understands the importance of the time of year, specifically this year with the closing of the Main St. bridge.

“It’s ( the holiday season) absolutely critical”

– Sarah Bonczyk, co-owner of Lift Bridge Bookstore

“It’s absolutely critical,” said Bonczyk. “It’s just pivotal for us-not only to get through these months, but we have another year of the bridge being closed…” 

Reminders to shop local sit outside Lift Bridge Bookstore in Brockport, NY, Dec. 1, 2023 (Photo via Aidan Briggs).

Bonczyk notes that sales do usually increase in the book store around the holiday season, as they would be expected to, but this year there is a little less optimism. 

“The hardest part is we’re not even maintaining (sales from past years), we’re seeing a decline,” said Bonczyk. “And that is kind of scary.” 

Although there are plenty of people that love to shop online, there are still shoppers that like going to local stores and finding their gifts in person. Online shopping seems more convenient but there are certainly still some benefits of shopping at stores in person. SUNY Brockport sophomore Donovan Jones is one of those people.

“I tend to go to brick and mortar stores…honestly it’s more convenient for me to look at the items before I buy them,” said Jones.

Sophomore Leah Siegmann added on to the support for local shops mentioning shipping and timing as key factors for why she stays away from online.

“You don’t have to pay shipping, you get the item right then and there, and the people in there are usually friendly and they can help you find what you need,” said Siegmann.

The bookstore puts up Christmas decorations to try and draw people to come in and shop in Brockport, NY, Dec. 1, 2023 (Photo via Aidan Briggs).

The bookstore, along with many other local shops and businesses are hoping these factors will lead the holiday season to bring in more visitors and therefore, more sales and income. The bookstore only has a few employees and just one standalone shop on Main St. but they will need the season to bring them more income so that they can continue to be there, not only for holiday shoppers but avid readers that want to find a new book every now and then. 

“The few months post- holiday season are always quiet but they are also essential for us to be able to survive… for overall longevity for us and everyone on Main St. to continue to be here for the community,” said Bonczyk. 

The store compares how they do in prior years , whether it’s comparing specific days, months or however they want. This year, Bonczyk is holding out hope for an uptick in profit, even if there is a bit of pessimism going into the holidays due to profits being down overall. For the bookstore, this season is make or break and a happy holidays would mean a profitable month ahead.

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