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It was a real lousy year for Mom and Pop - Brooklyn Paper

It was a real lousy year for Mom and Pop

James Trinko (left) and Perrin Siegel of Design Within Reach on Montague Street are not pleased with this year’s holiday sales.
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler

Holiday sales weren’t too jolly for Brooklyn businesses this year.

A spot check of a dozen retailers from Williamsburg to Bay Ridge revealed that business is so bad that they’re struggling just to match their horror show numbers from 2008.

“People are looking for discounts at the bigger stores, and I don’t blame them,” said Mike Chang of Upgrade, an electronics store in Bay Ridge.

Of the retailers we interviewed, all but three reported depressed sales, and two of those three said they’re scrambling to meet last year’s poor receipts.

Even the chains are struggling. A manager at Design Within Reach on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights said that she has until Jan. 2 to close a 20-percent gap in sales compared to the last holiday season.

“I don’t believe we’ll be seeing a plus,” said the bed, bath and kitchen shop’s manager, Perrin Siegel. “We’re getting people in here — but things aren’t good.”

But there was some good news, as well as some advice. Idlewild Books in Williamsburg reported improved sales for the holiday, in part because it’s new. An employee who asked not to be named offered a game plan for business trying to push through the hard times.

“It’s all about the people,” he said. “Know your customers and they’ll keep coming back,” he said.

Neither is Mateusz Bohdzia at Heights Kids nearby.
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler

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