After Christmas and New Year's Day, businesses in Forest Hills and around the country will start to get a clear picture of how they fared this year. Since the economic collapse in 2008, the shopping rush of December has been critical to retailers' survival.
A store's performance in the lead-up to Christmas will likely inform major decisions for the rest of the year, like whether to cut staff or hours.
Still, with another week left of 2010 and a couple crucial days before Christmas, businesses in Forest Hills are reluctant to size up the whole year quite yet.
A sample of businesses and retailers gave the state of Austin Street and Queens Boulevard a mixed if not optimistic picture.
Some appear to be running on all cylinders on Austin Street, many of them retail chains stores that take cues from their corporate counterparts. "Traffic here's been great, actually," said Jessica Creary, a manager at . "We've been pretty consistent."
Creary said Ann Taylor Loft's fiscal year carries into 2011, but was confident there would be no job cuts or major changes. "It's out with the old, preparing for the new spring clothing, just like every year," she said.
across the street paints a less rosy picture. Manager Manny Manuel said their holiday sales were down 20 percent. "On Black Friday, we didn't make what we were expecting," said Manuel. The store has introduced sales, Manuel says, that they normally would have waited to offer until after Christmas.
Men's Warehouse hasn't seen their sales pick up as much as usual either, said one employee who declined to be indentified. "We still see a lot of our usual customers, but we're still falling behind," the store rep. said.
The employee did not expect to see cuts to any staff, or any major changes for 2011, adding, "We'll see what happens."
Lina T., manager of said the small boutique was doing well, and didn't express any concern about the store entering another year of business. The smaller shops like Austin Jeans did not have the same sense of urgency than all the sales signs peppering the larger or
A shopper at Banana Republic said she noticed the larger stores to be fairly busy while the sales were in full swing. "These kinds of stores are very good at the promotions," she said.
At Queens Center Mall, Dawn Simon, director of marketing said they have been happy with the performance of the stores, but wouldn't divulge any sales figures or details. "We just have to wait and see what happens after the holidays," said Simon.