Holiday Sales Appear Strong in MississippiBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 22 Dec 2011 01:45pm |
There is only one more day for Mississippians looking to make that last minute holiday purchase. As MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports, this year's season is on track to ring up an estimated 470-billion dollars in sales.
"I really want a puppy and I think Santa is a great man,"
That's 8-year old Isabel Dawson who joined other children at the Northpark mall in Ridgeland to meet Santa and play in a new play area.
Gia Maloney is the director of Marketing at Northpark, which is one of the biggest malls in the state.
"I can tell you for sure that yes we are over last year. (What are retailers telling you about that). They are telling me they are busy, they are happy, they are meeting all their goals and beating last year's numbers," Maloney said.
Maloney declined to give an exact figure on the amount sales have increased, but through the end of last week, national sales are reportedly up 2-and-a-half percent and on-line sales up 15-percent compared to last year.
While hundreds of shoppers stroll the mall floor looking for last minute sales, Chris Rydell, who runs a screen printing kiosk, says his sales are solid but not dramatically up.
"Things were better 8 or 10 years ago, but we are still hanging in there and moving some merchandise. (Do you think it has bounced back from 2 or 3 years ago) I would say it is on track. I am always shooting for better by on track will be fine," Rydell said.
Shoppers seem to be spending more even though Mississippi's unemployment rate is still much higher than the national average.
Richard Colbert is a 23-year old construction worker and father of two who is one of those spending more this year because he recently got a raise.
"Even the though the economy is down, we are still going to shop. It is not the best but it is going to improve. I believe that, I believe it will improve," Colbert said.
A strong shopping season is important to retailers and the overall economy, because for some stores the final two months of the year can account for as much as 40-percent of annual sales.
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