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Oshkosh small businesses report mixed sales numbers

Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 18:56:46-05

OSHKOSH — A new Mastercard report shows that retail sales rose by 7.6 percent this holiday season compared to 2021. Some Oshkosh businesses say they've seen sales go up by a comparable amount, but others have a different story to tell.

Jim Evans is the owner and sole proprietor of Art Haus—an art supply store on Main Street—and says his business is doing well.

“I’m reading that retail is up about 7 percent…I’m in that neighborhood probably," he said.

Evans has had supply chain hiccups, but has been able to forge ahead with minimal problems.

“I have just been maintaining the way I’ve always done things," he said.

"Slow and steady. Not any drastic changes with hours or inventory. I just kind of went with what got me here.”

Just up Main Street, Managing Director Jessie Tadder says Elsewhere Market & Coffee House "wasn't as busy as last year."

Tadder was quick to point out that this year's numbers were still good, but failed to live up to the lofty expectations set by the excellent numbers Elsewhere posted during its first holiday season in business.

“Things of course were great last year looking back because we were new, and people were excited…" she said. "I would say that things were great this holiday season, but not as intense," she continued.

She says the cost of living has forced Elsewhere to rethink some of the higher-end items they sell.

“It’s not just a matter of putting the prettiest things in here, it needs to make sense for the customers to be able to buy them," she said.

Despite their different experiences, both Evans and Tadder expect 2023 to be a big year for their respective businesses.

"I got a folder full of framing orders to start working on..." Evans said. "[I'm] off to a good start!"

“We’re looking forward to it. I think 2023’s going to kind of turn around a little bit…" said Tadder. "I think it’s gonna be awesome," she continued.