Whether its window shopping or carrying bags in both hands, holiday shoppers were out in full force Thursday.
Catharine Wells, Spokesperson for Hamilton Place Mall said, "This season is actually turning out to be a good one. So far stores are reporting that sales are definitely up. I think we are trending pretty close to the national average of four percent." Store sales and traffic may be up, but the economy being down has certainly played a factor in Stuart Lanier's spending plans. Lanier said, "I would say we are spending less this year because we simply don't have it." One mother of four says that its been a lot harder this year than in previous years. Her family came up with a financial plan to manage rising costs. Trisha Bolden, holiday shopper said, "A couple weeks ago, we started putting money aside and put it in envelopes per child, so we could go shopping accordingly."
Some shoppers wait until the last minute, but Mackie Yatooma stretched her shopping plans out from weeks to months in advance. Yatooma said, "Well I just went to a lot of the sales and a lot of people I knew what they liked, and I bought a lot of things last year and saved it for this year, so I don't have a lot of shopping to do this year because I was preparing for the bad economy."
Wells expects stores to become busier despite the economy. This Christmas season contains an extra weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas to find that perfect gift. Wells said, "I think there might be some procrastinators out there knowing that we do have a few extra days, and kind of waiting til it gets a little closer."