BRIGHAM CITY -- The Chamber of Commerce "Shop At Home" promotion tracked $2.9 million in sales in Box Elder County for two holiday months last year.
That pretty much doubled the previous year's totals, according to chamber records. The 30,000 tally cards for this year's promotion started going out Friday to county businesses and has Monica Holdaway, Brigham City-area chamber director, hopeful for the retail sales barometer.
"I just delivered 25 bundles of 100 cards each today," she said this week. "It's amazing watching them come back."
In all, 64 Brigham City businesses are signed up and have the tally cards at their tills, plus 23 Tremonton-area businesses that joined the program last year.
Holdaway believes the Shop at Home effort is unique to her chamber.
"I certainly don't remember getting the idea from any other chamber," she said.
The way it works is, a shopper takes the card along and gets sales marked on the card for each purchase. The card has spaces for $1 purchases, on up to $25. When each card is completed, it represents $250 in sales. The effort runs Nov. 1 thru Dec. 27.
The incentive is this: Each card is turned in at 11 drop-off points listed on the card, so the named cardholder is entered into a drawing for prizes, such as products, services and gift cards, on Dec. 27 at the chamber offices downtown. Likely the biggest prize is $100 worth of candy from the Idle Isle cafe and candy shop in Brigham City. At last year's drawing, 85 cardholders shared more than $4,500 worth of prizes.
Of the 30,000 cards sent out by the chamber last year, 11,654 were turned in filled out. At $250 each, that represented a grand total of $2,993,000 in local sales.
That was up from the 2011 total of 6,164 cards turned in, representing $1.54 million, according to chamber records. The first recorded tallies came in 2006 when the cards were checked off for only $100 worth of purchases: 4,199 cards came back to signal $419,900 in sales.
"It gets a little bit of a buzz going," said Justin Odenthal, assistant manager at Ace Hardware in downtown Brigham. "It think it probably stimulates sales. Customers make sure we sign the card."
Bill Owen, assistant manager at Kent's Marketplace on Main Street, said the grocery chain is a big supporter of the Shop at Home promotion.
"Our checkers ask people if they want one," he said. "Everybody seems to come in and pick one up. Then we get a little low and have to call the chamber to bring some more."
Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister.