Boxing Day sales and celebrations haven’t always been a thing at Robinson’s Outdoor Store, but when they have held them, they have typically gone all-out.
This year is set to see those large-scale events return to the family-owned store for the first time since the pandemic was declared in 2020, and co-owner Erin Boggs is excited.
“When we have done it in the past, we have a hundred people lining up outside at 7 a.m., it’s a really incredible energy,” said Boggs. “For us, it’s a community thing. I love honouring people who make it a tradition to come down and visit us as part of their Christmas plans, so we are going to do something big this Boxing Day.”
This Dec. 26, Boggs is expecting lines out the door. With more people comfortable with in-person shopping, she said the store has already been busier during the holiday shopping season than in previous years, which should bode well for Boxing Day.
But customer comfort levels and public health restrictions weren’t the only reason the store has not been able to hold Boxing Day sales over the past two years. It’s also been a struggle to get enough inventory in store to be able to mark down prices or accommodate large crowds.
“This year, the supply chain has finally caught up, and we are actually a bit over-inventoried.”
As for what items shoppers will be hoping to snatch up this year, Boggs said big-ticket items like tents and sleeping bags are expected to top shopping lists as it is one of the very few days those items go on sale. Clothing too is expected to be a sales driver, as those items are always popular at the store.
While gift cards have been the most popular Boxing Day purchases at many stores in recent years, Boggs predicts there has been a change in that trend this year. She said there have been a large number of gift cards sold all through December, likely as Christmas gifts, so she expects many recipients of gift cards will be coming into the store after Christmas Day to redeem them, and hopefully have their value go further thanks to the sales. But as it always has been for the store, which has now been in the family for four generations, Boxing Day is less about improving their bottom line, and more about celebrating with the outdoor community that has supported them since 1929.
“For us, this is about thanking our community for being there for us and helping us get through the pandemic,” said Boggs. “We are supper greatful to our community for getting us through those years, so we are definitely going to be celebrating with them on the 26th.”