COLORADO SPRINGS — "We're already seeing people excited to shop for the holiday, thinking ahead," said Kate Byrne, Manager of the shop Eclectic Co. in downtown Colorado Springs. There is a six week or so holiday season that is key for retailers. It is underway in downtown Colorado Springs where there is a calendar full of events and activities. It is a return to a full-scale holiday season, in contrast to edited version a year ago due to the pandemic.
The pandemic is still around, only it's impact is different this year. With vaccinations people are more comfortable enjoying shopping and activities. A new issue this year is rumblings about the supply chain potentially resulting in short supply on retail shelves.
Some small locally owned shops in Colorado Springs are not overly concerned about the supply chain. For example, the shop Eclectic Co is a collaboration of more than 50 local artisans and entrepreneurs. Most items they offer are sourced and made locally. Rather than shipped from overseas, a lot of the merchandise comes from across town or at least from within the state.
Byrne, Eclectic’s manager, said supply chain can create issues with getting raw material, but rather than a barrier many of the shop’s creators take it as an opportunity. "Adapt and get creative and you know find different ways to utilize what they already have or potentially come up with new product ideas."
Shopping local also offers unique and one-of-a-kind items. "Buying artisan made goods, or maybe a pack of craft beer, distilled spirits or maybe tickets to a local theater performance, orchestra performance,” said Downtown Partnership President & CEO, Susan Edmondson, “Those things aren't sitting on a shipping dock somewhere."
"Last year during the pandemic everyone really supported our small businesses, but it was very quick right, you went in the store, you got your goods, you went out," said Edmondson. Beyond shopping, the holiday excitement returns to downtown Colorado Springs. "Atmosphere all around with the only outdoor ice-skating rink in the region, strolling carolers, Santa decorated windows." It is good for the economy, but this year there's also an emphasis on promoting a sense of community.
Downtown Partnership has list of events and promotions on it’s website.