Hampton Roads expects increase in holiday sales; emphasizes ‘shop local’


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The holiday shopping season traditionally begins on Friday — and this year, most stores in Hampton Roads are expecting to see an increase in sales.

The National Retail Federation released its annual report Wednesday. Its member survey found eight in 10 local brick-and-mortar stores predict holiday sales will be up about 4 percent.

Members are also excited about the support from all Hampton Roads city officials who have declared it “shop local month”  between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15.

“It’s very important, very important, otherwise we’ll just have a virtual retail community and that would not be very good,” said Retail Alliance President and CEO Raymond Mattes III. The retail alliance is a nonprofit trade association in Hampton Roads.

Mattes told WAVY.com every time you spend a dollar in a local store, the community gets a return three times.

That’s because local shop owners do things like using local printers and renting local space.

Shoppers can cash in too with the local LOVEVA app, which aids consumers who want to shop local and get rewards.

“Every time you purchase at a local store that’s participating, you get a ‘heart,'” Mattes explained.

The app will show users all the local stores with in several miles of where they are. The hearts they earn are not store-specific, so they can earn in one
store and redeem in another.

Some of the deals include 25 percent off a designer suit, 15 percent off meals at restaurants, or a free slice of pie.

App users can also find out where small businesses are located in Norfolk, and learn about special deals this weekend.

There will be a welcome station set up in the Selden Market, 208 E Main St. in Norfolk, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.

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