MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — Toilet paper turned out to be a hot commodity throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but now that the holiday season has rolled around, it seems Christmas decorations are in high demand as well. 

Amanda Pappert, a manager at Handyman Ace Hardware in Miamisburg,  said she’s seen an influx of Christmas shoppers in her store.

“We’ve really had a lot of customers coming in looking for lights and extension cords and things like that, so it’s been a very popular item this year.”

She said with customers spending more time at home, they’re getting more creative and festive than in previous years. 

“So I had a customer actually that wanted to do like a winter wonderland theme, so they bought a lot of icicle lights and snowmen and things like that. They’re trying to make it a lot of fun and interactive for their families.”

Bill Adams, a senior economist with PNC Financial Services, said we have the pandemic — particularly stimulus packages and decreasing unemployment rates — to credit for the increased interest in holiday décor. 

“Consumers haven’t been able to spend in the ways that they normally would in the past,” Adams explained. “There’s less travel, there’s less spending in restaurants, there’s less spent in entertainment. And so consumers have redirected a lot of their spending towards purchases of goods, especially things that they use around the home.” 

Adams said information is still being compiled on consumer spending around the holidays, but the spending trend for Christmas decorations is right in line with what economists have seen since the start of the pandemic. 

“Economic data comes out with a lag, [so] we don’t have data yet about how people have started to spend on Christmas decorations. But what we do know is that spending [at] building material stores [and] hardware stores throughout this recovery has been growing at double digit paces,” he explained.

According to Adams, this is consistent with people spending more time at home, spending more money on their home and as the holidays approach, that spending has shifted to Christmas decorations.

Adams said with online sales higher than normal around the Christmas season, some brick and mortar businesses will catch a break thanks to the Christmas sales. Pappert said she’s just excited to see local families being a light during the season. 

“They’re putting a lot of their emphasis into something positive because there’s been so much negative going on…in our communities [and] in the world in general. So…they came in and [there were] a lot of Christmas lights, a lot of exterior decorations — and those just flew off the shelf really fast and everybody was in good spirits. You know, a lot of people were happy because it’s something that kind of takes your mind off of what’s going on right now.”

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