In fashion and business, Susan Taylor, owner of Manuka womenswear store Department of the Exterior, has never followed trends.
However there was one trend Ms Taylor was happy to follow.
"We found there was a bit of a lift in sales leading up to Christmas," Ms Taylor said.
"It's local people who have been making a real effort to support local businesses."
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data found retail sales rose by 7.1 percent nationally in November , with sales increasing by 2.5 per cent in the ACT.
The strongest areas for growth were clothing and footwear.
While online sales increased, bricks and mortar remain in style.
This is vindication for Ms Taylor, who says she isn't interested in going online.
"My customers really respond to the way that we do business," she said.
"It's a very personalised business, where I know my customers really well."
Canberra Business Chamber senior strategic adviser Michael Schaper said as COVID-19 restrictions eased, consumers had rediscovered the joy of shopping.
"Shopping is an experience, shopping is not just about getting goods or services. It's also about going out, interacting with others, socialising," Dr Schaper said.
"Face-to-face retailing has had to make room for online, but I don't think one is ever going to kill the other."
National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said retailers had had an "absolutely amazing Christmas".
"For some time we haven't been able to plan for that new dress or that new pair of shoes or, for an event, to wear a nice new outfit," she said.
"Consumer activism has become a real driver for our retailers, and that includes shopping local."
Ms Taylor said she embraced the shop-local ethos.
"I think its about time people rediscover their local shopping areas. It's a great way to keep your local area invigorated," she said.
Dr Schaper agreed that the shop-local push had made consumers aware of the role local businesses play in maintaining employment across the economy.
"[Shopping local] is a battle for making sure we look after our own community," he said.
Despite the Christmas boost, Ms Taylor is cautiously optimistic for 2021.
"It's still very much a roller coaster," she said.
"Every time a border is closed or you get an outbreak, it gets hard again because it affects peoples confidence.
"I feel optimistic that the way Australia seems to be handling the pandemic is more short and hard lockdowns.
"I feel like what I've managed to build is a really viable business that has been able to operate on its own terms through this period.
"It gives me confidence moving forward this year."
Retail booms in late 2020
- Australian retail sales rose by 7.1 per cent in November
- Rise led by Victoria, where retail rose by 22.4 per cent
- ACT's sales increased by 2.5 per cent
- Total retail turnover rose 13.3 per cent compared to November 2019
- Only SA's retail sales went backwards by 0.2 per cent
- Clothing and footwear increased by 26.7 per cent, followed by department stores (21.1 per cent)
- Online sales increased from 7.2 per cent in November 2019 to 11 per cent in November 2020