We had a nice, steady flow of customers through the Collegedale Christmas Market (week one) this year, and the warm weather definitely made it more enjoyable! Our vendor base was smaller this year (40 vendors vs. 57 last year), which brings up another important distinction: last year was a joint event with the City, Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation and ETSO for the Grand Opening of Founders Hall and all the festivities that go with it. Next weekend will be the Collegedale Christmas Parade, which we hope to get some traffic boost from.
For a complete organic “these are our people” weekend, it was excellent and ranked as one of the best in 2018. Keep in mind, the July 4 Freedom Market, Chattanooga Oktoberfest, and other extended festivals are designed to introduce new customers to the Markets. Those are somewhat artificial boosts, but the sustainable traffic gets reflected during the events which are truly our own.
2019 Christmas Market Sales, Week One
For comparison purposes, here is the 2018-equivalent report. Because there were fewer vendors in 2019 than 2018, it’s best to look at the Average Sales vs. the Total Sales – for instance, Body Care products showed an increase in Average Vendor Sales in 2019 although we had more vendors (and thus greater total sales) in 2018.
Food Products and the related are where the averages/totals really missed out in 2019 – fewer vendors in those categories, with less options/products and lower sales. A simple truth about the Market is that people shop for consumables frequently, and the health/variety of that category has a dramatic impact across the whole.
But overall, I am very proud of the strength Collegedale has shown in 2018. As a reminder, be sure to pick up rack cards this weekend and help spread word/awareness of the upcoming Winter Market 2020 Season.
2018 Christmas Market Sales, Week One