Local businesses seeing more in-person holiday season traffic than last year

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Last minute shoppers are down to the wire with only 11 days left until Christmas.

Local business owners say they’ve welcomed back many people in person while online sales are still booming after amid the pandemic.

One of those businesses is Platters Chocolates. Vice president of business development John DiGuiseppe said this season has been great, better than last year.

People want their chocolate this holiday season, but DiGuiseppe said they also want the in-store experience.

“We’re seeing a lot of people wanting to get out, they want the holiday spirit back, we decorated the store,” he said. “It’s the experience, our store is set up for that, as you can see we have the public viewing areas so you could see us working, people get thrilled seeing the sponge being made.”

He said they’re working hard to keep the shelves stocked but it’s best to shop earlier rather than later.

“When people shop early we love that because they shop early and they come back and they say, ‘I ate it,’ so they come back again.”

He also said they’re still doing a lot of online orders for people outside the area which is also the case at another local business, the BFLO Store.

“It’s hard to believe Christmas is next week already, it’s been a great week already, each day has been just as busy as the day before,” said founder and owner Nathan Mroz.

Mroz said it’s important to him to create an environment that makes people want to make the trip out to the store.

“It’s great not to have any capacity restrictions this year, the masks are back but people’s spirits are high, it’s the holiday season even here at the BFLO Store we have a lot of fun Christmas decorations, we just love to have that vibe,” he said. “You really have to go the extra mile for the customer to make sure they want to come out and shop and have a good time doing it.”

He said they’re fully stocked, which is something many big box stores can’t say this year.

All four BFLO Store locations will have extended hours next week leading up to Christmas. The Eastern Hills location will be open 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day next week.

Platters is open until 9 p.m. every day.

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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