WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Selling 100 Christmas trees a day, Mr. Jingle's Christmas Trees at the corner of Okeechobee and Quadrille boulevards in downtown West Palm Beach is experiencing a 15-20% increase in sales from this time last year, and the vendor attributes it all to effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The craziest part about it is, you look over later, our inventory is wiped out," Brandon Helfner said. "Luckily, I was able to get a hold of my farm and get another shipment coming in tomorrow, but a lot of the other competition that I've talked to, they're struggling getting the loads picked up on time."
Helfner, who runs the Mr. Jingle's Christmas Trees lots in West Palm Beach, said many people have told him they aren't traveling this year, so they're buying a tree.
At Happy Holiday Christmas Trees on Northlake Boulevard in Lake Park, David Hanscom was shopping for the perfect tree Monday, but he said he's noticed Christmas ornaments have been flying off store shelves.
"They're getting bare," he remarked. "They are getting bare. A lot of people are obviously doing their shopping early 'cause there's nothing else to do, I guess."
Christmas tree vendor Sam Pearlstein said he won't run out of trees, but he's closing shop earlier this year because of COVID-19.
"This year, I'm going to be planning on getting done a little bit earlier," Pearlstein said. "I want to be safe. I want everyone to be safe."
Pearlstein said it's been a tough year, which is why he thinks his customers started shopping earlier.
"I can see the smile on their face," he said. "It makes me feel good. I got the chills just thinking of it. They're good people. You know, they just want a break."
Already on his second shipment of trees, they're selling fast.
"There is no shortage," Pearlstein said. "It's just that people are afraid of the COVID."