Holiday Sales Leveling Off At Edgewater Mall; Retailers Still Optimistic

In just two weeks, youngsters will be waking up to presents under the Christmas tree, and of course, there will be a lot of gift swapping between friends and relatives. But just how much shopping is going on at area stores? We stopped by Edgewater Mall in Biloxi to check things out.

"So far, so good. We had a great day after Thanksgiving, which traditionally starts the holiday shopping time, and it was very strong. We had a strong showing that day. Stores like JC Penney just reported good sales," said Michelle Rogers, the mall's marketing director.

Rogers says business was booming at Edgewater Mall on Black Friday, but things have since slowed down.

"There's typically in any holiday season, a bit of a lull then after the big shopping day on Black Friday as it's called. People kind of slow down again, and then it starts building as we get every day closer to Christmas, it starts building and building," Rogers said.

Zevo Urban Ware has been in business at the mall for seven years.

"In 2006, sales tallied off a little bit. It was still up there. This year, for some reason, with gas prices and everything is higher than what it was and sales are slightly down. That's not just us, that's not just here on the coast. It's everywhere across the country. Everyone I talk to at shows across the country, everyone else is the same tune, sales are down slightly in retail," said the store's owner.

But if people pick up on 19-year-old Barry Pribyl's holiday shopping habits, sales will be on the rise at the mall.

"I definitely did a lot more Christmas shopping this year. I did almost all my Christmas shopping at the Edgewater Mall. All my Christmas shopping has been here," Pribyl said.

A new men's suit store, Image Menswear, is slated to open this Friday in the mall. We also called Dillard's corporate headquarters. A spokesperson there says Dillard's is set to open by spring of next year at Edgewater Mall.