RALEIGH, N.C. — Downtown shopping in Raleigh is on the rise. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance saw a 56% increase in sales in the last few months, and 25 new stores have opened since April.

What You Need To Know

  • Shopping in Raleigh has increased 56% in the last quarter, according to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance

  • Thirty-seven new stores have opened this year

  • 96% of shops in downtown Raleigh are locally owned

Two of the newest owners are Amber Echevarria and Jamie Radar. They own Munjo Munjo. Echevarria and Radar moved into their spot in October, and have continuously seen sales increase.

“It was slow in October, but after that became busier. A lot more people out. People were dying to get out,” said Echevvaria.

Downtown Raleigh is made up of 93% locally-owned businesses. While the pandemic saw many shops close, others like Munjo Munjo filled their places. Echevvaria and Radar are now hopeful that the rest of the year will be just as good.

“We’ve definitely communicated as a group of owners on what measures were doing so we’re on the same page. Gives each other a boost that we’re doing the right thing, or doing our best to. I think it's kind of helped us be more of a community,” said Echevvaria.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance says they’re currently at about 96% occupancy. CEO Bill King says he’s hopeful it will stay that way through the year.

“We're being careful and watching the variant. Seeing the mask mandate, I think it’s important for people to follow public health regulations, important for vaccinations," King said. "Certainly you can see businesses change for us. Numbers ticked up rapidly in quarter 2, when vaccinations took off."

King says most businesses have been very supportive of the CDC ruling and the latest mask mandate.