Businesses Ready for Sales Bump as Consumers Plan for New Year’s

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — With the holiday season drawing to a close, industries plagued by a sales slump in 2020 are looking for this year to go out with a bang.

As consumers prepare to get out and celebrate New Year’s Eve – on a Friday this year, creating a three-day weekend – some businesses are expecting solid sales. The holiday is even allowing for more creativity in the hopes of making new traditions for others.

Party On! in Niles began seeing sales almost immediately for New Year’s merchandise, says co-owner Jeff Lyda. Employees started setting up displays right after Halloween and sales were increasing by the middle of November. 

“It’s usually a last-minute thing” that people think to purchase decorations after the bustle from Christmas calms, Lyda says.

Focusing more on home parties, a large portion of the decorations sold are included in kits. Noise makers, tableware, balloons, confetti and confetti canons are staples in many of the kits, Lyda says. They have been ready for the sales. 

“We stocked heavier this year. We’re seeing more sales this year because we have more of a selection than in years past,” Lyda says.

It goes in hand with the day of the week for New Year’s Eve this year. “It’s a cycle as far as when New Year’s Eve lands,” Lyda says. “This being a Friday it’s even better. There’s a weekend to recover,” leading to higher sales, he says.

AC Beverage co-owner Al Franceshelli says he’s noticing more people are opting for bourbons and high-end whiskeys over flavored vodkas.

Al Franceshelli, co-owner of AC Beverage in Youngstown, isn’t seeing much of a shift in sales, but he’s noticing a tasty new trend.

“Hard liquor in general is real trendy,” Franceshelli says. High-end bourbons, whiskeys, vermouth and other ingredients are in demand. That demand became higher over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this holiday season there is plenty of inventory still to be sold, he says.

With the more sophisticated drinks, people are “getting away from the fruity-tasting drinks,” going a more “old-school” route with Manhattans, old fashioneds, and whiskey and amaretto sours.

From a merchandising standpoint, David Gagliano, who works for a distribution company out of the Cleveland area but lives locally, says he’s noticed people trying ways to be inventive.

Echoing Lyda’s mention of the day of the week for New Year’s Eve, Gagliano said “A lot more people are trying to be open new hours” this year.

Adopting that sentiment is Birdfish Brewing in Columbiana, which will be throwing a New Year’s Eve bash. Co-owner Jeff Dunn says the brew pub would be closed on New Year’s Eve unless the staff came up with an idea.

“They wanted to blow it up,” he says. “I said, ‘Okay. Let’s do it.’”

The Birdfish NYE Masquerade: Brew Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball was born, complete with a DJ, trivia from 2021, and swag with ticket purchases, Dunn says.

Judging by the response, “People are excited,” he says.

Embarking on something new, Dunn says that while Birdfish isn’t a regular bar, they’re working to try to do something a little different. “We don’t serve champagne,” he says, noting they’ll be open until 1 a.m. per regulation.

Seeing a major uptick this year for both Christmas and New Year’s parties is women’s clothing store Lavish by Coral Rose in the Eastwood Mall.

“This year, the trend is a lot dressier because people are getting out more,” says Kendra Cetrone, general manager and buyer.

Glitzier cocktail attire and two-piece suits are sought-after to celebrate with friends and family, she says. “It’s a little more dressy than last year because everyone was shut in. It’s a big difference.”

Lavish expanded its space to house special occasion purchasing for prom, homecoming, mother-of-the-bride, and New Year’s. “That’s how much ‘dressy’ business returned,” Cetrone says.

Shoes and accessories are also being purchased to complete ensembles, she notes.

“It feels good to buy a new outfit and know you can put it on and go somewhere,” Cetrone says.

Pictured at top: Kendra Cetrone, general manager for Lavish by Coral Rose, works on a mannequin ahead of New Year’s Eve.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.