Hatch on Maine co-owner Dustan Larsen checking out a customer on Saturday in Brunswick. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

Business was reportedly booming for downtown Brunswick shops on Small Business Saturday despite supply chain delays and labor shortages impacting retailors nationwide.

Many of the local businesses interviewed attributed the uptick in sales to consumer concerns about global supply chain issues, which might be steering shoppers to buy more gifts locally this holiday season.

At Hatch on Maine, a Brunswick store that sells antiques, local gifts and vintage items, co-owner Dustan Larsen said that Saturday was the second-best day for the store in the past decade. The best day was earlier this month during the early bird sale in Brunswick, which Larsen said was a three-fold increase over last year.

“It’s just been super consistent, just steadily busy,” said Larsen. “I think it’s probably going to continue throughout the Christmas season. I feel like people are especially keyed in on the fact that if you don’t support small, local stores, they’re not going to be there anymore.”

In part, Larsen also said that the standout year could be due to customer concern about shipping and supply chain issues, prompting people to shop local to avoid delays. Since a majority the products sold at Hatch on Maine are produced in Maine, the business has not been affected by supply chain disruptions, Larsen said.

Indrani Dennen, owner of the store Indrani’s, also said that business was busy on Saturday, and she too is preparing for demand to remain high going into the holiday season. She said that supply chain and labor shortage issues have had a minimal impact on business.

“Last year there was so much uncertainty because vaccines weren’t available and people were very reluctant to go out into the public and so I think that brick and mortar businesses suffered because of that,” said Dennen. “This year there’s all this talk about shortages and not being able to get your orders on time, so I think we’re going to see more people shop at little businesses and try and keep it local because that way you guarantee that you’re going to get what you want.”

Indrani Dennen, owner of the store Indrani’s, wearing a “shop small” pin at her Brunswick business on Small Business Saturday. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

Indrani’s has been in Brunswick for about 33 years, selling women’s clothing and jewelry, African drums, baskets, gifts and beads.

On Friday, Leslie Beattie, store owner of The Mix – a downtown Brunswick art supply store – said that 2021 has been the best in five years of operation. She said that Small Business Saturday is generally one of the largest sales days of the year at The Mix.

In 2020, The Mix was only down 3% in sales due to the pandemic, Beattie said, which she attributes to people taking on art projects during quarantine. This year so far, Beattie said that there have been 82.7% more in-store sales compared to 2020.

“I really think that my trend will continue as more and more people figure out that I’m here,” said Beattie. “The Brunswick community is really I think very unique in that people really support small businesses.”

The downtown in Brunswick area is home to approximately 300 businesses. Fleet Feet, a running supply store, and Cool as Moose, a Maine souvenir store, also said sales on Saturday were up.

Customers shopping at The Mix art supply store in downtown Brunswick on Saturday. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

Brunswick Downtown Association Executive Director Debora King also said that the standout year for Small Business Saturday was likely due to consumer concerns about the supply chain, as well as an increased awareness by shoppers for the need to support local stores.

The Brunswick Downtown Association has about 250 business members, ranging from restaurants and retail stores to banks and private practices.

“We do everything that we possibly can from our organization to promote Small Business Saturday and early bird,” said King. “But shopping local all year round – we’re hammering that home all the time.”

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