Alabama Retail Association predicting 5% growth in holiday spending

Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 10:53 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Retail Association says holiday spending in our state should near $18 billion this year, growing 5% from last year.

“People are back in the full-swing of doing in-person shopping,” said Nancy Dennis with the Alabama Retail Association.

With Christmas just eight days away, shoppers spent Super Saturday checking off their gift lists and finishing up their last-minute Christmas shopping.

“Everybody is still doing a lot of multi-channel shopping so they’ll order something online, have it picked up in the store or they’ll pick it out in the store and have it shipped somewhere,” said Dennis.

ARA said shoppers spent $15 billion in holiday spending during 2020, $17 billion during 2021, and expect $17.9 billion to be spent this season.

Dennis says while most holiday shopping is done during November and December, they noticed people were starting as early as October this year. For those that waited a little longer, Dennis says many retailers are extending hours.

“Even the smaller businesses will be open later, open earlier, open Sundays when they don’t normally,” she explained.

Dennis says this year clothing, jewelry, and toys are the hot gifts to give. A new trend is emerging, though. During the pandemic, most people were just buying goods and Dennis says now it’s shifted to buying both goods and services.

“It’s because they weren’t traveling so they weren’t giving people massages or mani-pedi certificates and all those kinds of things but they’re coming back to doing that now,” she added.

If you haven’t shipped your Christmas gifts, don’t panic yet! The U.S. Postal Service recommends sending your gifts through the Priority Mail Service by December 19th or Priority Mail Express Service by December 23rd.

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