Coast Retailers Say Plenty Of Shoppers Came Out Over Holiday Weekend - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

HOLIDAY SPENDING MAY NOT BE DOWN ON THE COAST

Coast Retailers Say Plenty Of Shoppers Came Out Over Holiday Weekend

"We were very surprised at the number of people that we've had this weekend," Prime Outlets General Manager Pam Meinzinger said. "Traffic was very brisk, and it was a very pleasant surprise, better than last year,"

Signs slashing prices are everywhere at the outlet mall. Merchants say cost-conscious shoppers are looking for bargains this year more than ever.

Hagar store General Manager Nick Ramirez said everything he's seen has been positive.

"Our customers have been ecstatic over the savings they are saving here in our store, so we're excited to see that," he said.

But this year, merchants say their customers seem to be spending smarter. A weak economy has made more shoppers use cold hard cash instead of plastic.

"Usually, we do like a lot of credit card transactions," Petite Sophisticate manager April Brodaus said. "I guess with interest rates and things of the such, people are more apt to pay with cash."

Since September 11th, many analysts predicted Americans wouldn't buy as much this holiday season. Nationally, retail spending is actually up 2 percent from last year. Here on the Coast, the average is even better.

"The first two days, so far we've had a very nice increase, about a 3 percent increase in traffic, which is very nice considering all of the events we've been having recently," Meinzinger said.

What happens in the four days of the thanksgiving holiday is often a barometer for what retailers can expect in the coming year.

"We had a really strong weekend, very strong," Brodaus said. "If this is any indication of things to come, we are going to have some really smiling retailers."

By Rebecca Powers

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