If Dave Gordon has learned anything in the last 40 years while running a family business in Buffalo, it has been that people love shopping for Christmas and holiday decor. From upside-down Christmas trees to wreaths in pastel colors decorated with strawberries, his business has seen every trend imaginable.
Dave’s Christmas Wonderland in Cheektowaga is the flagship store with two other locations in Amherst and Depew. But the majority of the company’s sales come from its online store, Christmascentral.com.
"We sell 90 percent or more of our goods on the Internet with six distribution centers in Western New York," Gordon said. "The stores act more like warehouses than retail stores today, and we have shipped our items to pretty much everywhere on the planet."
Merchandise from this retail giant has reached the island of Ibiza, Afghanistan, oil derricks in the Gulf of Mexico and United States embassies all over the world. Although the online domain and flagship store have ‘Christmas’ in the name, Dave’s also sells patio furniture, pool supplies, decorative flags and merchandise for every holiday on the calendar.
"We are very diverse and an all-season store, but holiday merchandise is our largest volume of business," Gordon said.
It’s not just homeowners who turn to Gordon’s stores for Christmas decorations. National publications like Country Living, Better Homes & Gardens and, most recently, Elle Decor reach out for seasonal merchandise. Even Hollywood shops there.
"A Bad Moms Christmas purchased quite a few products from us for the movie set, and our website has a page with the products so people can get that look for themselves," said Gordon’s daughter-in-law, Laura Gordon. "Our products were also in Meet the Fockers."
Trending in Christmas decor for 2017 is the color purple, and A Bad Mom’s Christmas incorporated this color with blues and silver on the set.
Another current trend is having multiple Christmas trees.
"People have them in the family room, bedroom and foyer," Dave Gordon said. "We get pictures of homes with six, eight or 20 trees from all over the country."
To clarify, families are not cutting down trees by the dozen to decorate their homes.Artificial trees are also having a moment, and Gordon doesn’t see this ending any time soon.
"We have every shape, manner or size available," he said. "They are so realistic and lifelike now, you wonder why anyone would buy a real tree except to keep traditions that some families have."
Another hugely popular item at Dave’s is string lights. Years ago, Gordon said retailers would only stock them two months out of the year, then price them on clearance in January to make room for other products. Today they are seasonless, and they are especially popular with restaurants.
"We sell the lights all year — on the Internet and in retail — and it’s probably the largest volume item we have," said Dave Gordon. "Everyone wants them."