NORFOLK, Va. — Sales at Siren Skate Shop have seemed like a roller coaster throughout the pandemic.
"Yeah, it's been sort of a wild ride," said owner Michael Merritt.
When sales did pick up, Merritt said he had a hard time finding supplies to meet the demand.
"So, a lot of time was spent searching for bicycle parts," he said.
He got a special gift this holiday season: more customers and a jump in sales.
"I can't really say I was surprised or not, because the pandemic has definitely taught me to expect anything and not know what to expect," he said
Holiday sales jumped by 10% across the nation compared to pre-pandemic levels. Peter Shaw, an economics professor at Tidewater Community College says there are several reasons why we're seeing this increase.
"There is somewhat of a pent-up demand for COVID scenarios," Shaw said. "Secondly, the range of discounts have shrunk. Usually, it was like anywhere from 15 to 35 percent now it's like 10 to 25 percent range."
He adds even the supply chain is causing prices to rise. It's driving many to spend more at stores like Merritt's.
"Sunday, yesterday, you know the day after Christmas was definitely a very busy day for the shop here," Merritt said. "A lot of people coming in bringing in bicycles they had bought online."
He doesn't see the flow of customers stopping anytime soon.
"I definitely see people still coming in still, post-Christmas," he said.