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Christmas tree sales surprisingly high, some sellers could run out early

Posted at 4:02 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 16:02:39-05

Months of uncertainty and waves of a deadly virus don’t really seem like a good prelude to a strong Christmas season. However, if you take a look at Christmas tree and decoration sales, they tell a different story.

It is one of the busiest years for Christmas tree sellers and farmers, and most of these businesses were not expecting a busy year.

“Sales have been up a lot,” said Christopher Gregory. “We initially thought maybe people were buying early. Now, we think there are just more people buying and they’re buying early!”

Gregory has owned of Elsie and Sons Christmas Trees, located in Boston, for 47 years and never expected this holiday season to be one of his busiest. In fact, just a few weeks ago, he worried about being able to sell anything this season.

“We were afraid there would be a shutdown, that we would get all the Christmas trees in and the day after they’ll shut down,” said Gregory.

However, that is so far from how this season has actually panned out. Sales for Christmas trees, wreaths, and almost every holiday decoration are selling so fast he worries about running out of stock now.

“We are running out of stuff and it is only the 8th of December,” Gregory added.

The Boston Christmas tree seller explained local farmers have stopped cutting trees, so to get more trees, he has to place an order from a tree farm in Canada. Even with this additional order, he is anticipating still not have enough trees for all the demand and says he’ll likely end his season early.

All across the country, Christmas tree sales are up almost 30 percent, according to a survey of tree retailers done by Evercore ISI. It seems people are not only buying more Christmas trees, but they are focused on buying bigger ones and spending more on additional season decorations.

The uptick is notably unexpected since typically during economic downturns consumers pull back on unnecessary spending. They have not historically pulled back from Christmas tree shopping, but most economists and business owners would likely have forecasted a decline in spending on additional décor.

That is, in fact, what Gregory forecasted for his business this season.

“It’s a comfort to people, I think, observing the tradition, decorating the house and so on. This is what people get pleasure from now,” said Gregory.

Gregory says he is just happy to be a part of something bringing people some much-needed joy this year.