STAWELL - Businesses are reporting mixed results in the wash up from Christmas and post Christmas trading this festive season.
While post Christmas and Boxing Day sales appear to have lifted spirits, the lead up for many traders was low key.
Brenton Potter of Gold Reef Clothing said sales before Christmas were down on previous years.
"In the lead up it was really quiet, but thankfully the last week picked up so I was happy with that," he said.
Mr Potter attributes the fall in sales to the way people currently shop.
"It is just the reality that online shopping is having a big impact on businesses, particularly ones like mine.
"The other reason of course is people not shopping locally.
"We are doing pretty well since Christmas, there are a lot of tourists around, I would have said about 80 per cent of the people that are around are non locals, this is good to see."
Mr Potter said looking forward it is important to remain realistic.
"We need to maintain the customer base we have, because if we don't we can't stock the range of items we and the customers would like," he said.
David Kaczynski of Foster's Mensland said Christmas trade was good but came late.
"It was steady early in the month but didn't pick up until around the Thursday before Christmas Day," he said.
"I'm not sure whether Christmas came around too quick and people weren't prepared or they just left it until the last minute.
"Since then a lot of tourists have been about and the good weather has helped.
"Overall I would say we are down on last year, due to things like online shopping."
Brett Crouch from Bi-Rite said trade in the lead up to Christmas was disappointing.
"It was down on previous years, in people through the doors and money changing hands," he said.
"We put a lot of effort into advertising, television and radio ads as well as our catalogues, so I'm not sure why
Mr Crouch said Boxing Day was fantastic and the week that followed was steady.
He said items for the kitchen were popular in the lead up to Christmas.
"People were buying coffee machines, iPads, a lot of cooking gear," he said.
Robyn Young from Young's Sportspower said they were happy with Christmas trade.
"We really appreciate the local support, with continued support we can continue to stock the range of items we have," she said.
"Kayaks, clothing, footwear and a lot of the smaller family games were popular this Christmas."
Shane Young said he hoped for continued support from locals along with water.
"We want to see more water in the lakes, that helps with getting visitors and tourists into the town and area," he said.
Kath Odd from Toyworld said trading for her even in the lead up was excellent.
"I would really like to thank all those who shopped locally," she said.
"We've had really good, steady trade this Christmas, up 18 per cent on last year.
She said there had been a steady take up to a 30 per cent sale the store had in the days after Boxing day.
"Overall the last three months has been very positive, we've introduced different lines which have proved popular," she said.
"Some of our more popular items in the lead up to Christmas were Zhu Zhu pets and the John Deer farm range which were also best sellers.
"It is really important for local people to support the community by shopping local."
Moyan Cahill from Sheer Illusions said business over the festive season had been reasonable.
"It has been very similar to last year, we've seen quite a few visitors, so that is always good," she said.
"I think it's important for people to remember to check what's available, before they go shopping out of town, they might be surprised with what they find."
Linda Hunter from Lyal Eales said trading has been the same as any other year.
"It has been on par with our expectations," she said.
"Taking into account growth and CPI (consumer price index) it is just as we would have expected it to be.
"Anything to do with camping has been selling well this year."
Mrs Hunter said she hopes it continues to grow and locals can be enticed to shop in the town more.
"Hopefully we'll have enough support to maintain seven day trading, but for that to happen we need the community support."
Beth Gibson, President of the independent business group StawellBiz said the current economic climate must be contributing to the mixed fortunes.
"I think the concerns about Christmas trade are probably due to people holding onto their money, there is still a lot of uncertainty about," she said.
Mr Kaczynski said 2013 will be an interesting year for the Stawell community.
"It will be interesting times with retail tough in general at the moment and the upcoming closure of the mine," he said.
"Businesses will be hoping locals stick with the shops and support traders."