Preparations already underway for holiday shopping season - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Preparations already underway for holiday shopping season

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

At The Mall at Turtle Creek, they're getting the garland and lights ready to go up in preparation for one of their busiest times of year.

"We're hoping to see a really good holiday season,"said Marketing/Specialty Leasing Coordinator at The Mall at Turtle Creek, Sarah McGavran.

While nationally, retail holiday sales numbers may not soar as high as many hope, locally Sarah McGavran Marketing and Leasing Coordinator at The Mall at Turtle Creek, says she hopes their current trend will continue through the holidays.

"Our small shop sales are up for the year as compared to last year and all of our traffic counts which counts every person that comes into the mall--that's up 20 percent compared to last year," said McGavran.

"The economy right now I think is doing better than what I think a lot of people imagined it could possibly be like a year ago," said ASU Professor of Economics, Dr. Randy Kesselring.

Kesselring says while it probably won't be a great season, this year will probably be better than last.

"A year ago we were talking about terrible recession and depression that actually didn't come to pass.  Though probably the worse part of this whole mess has been the unemployment," said Kesselring.

That unemployment Kesselring says is one thing that will have an impact on this holiday shopping season.

"I think if you were looking at a five percent unemployment rate this holiday season, you'd see a very good holiday season, but I think looking at a ten percent unemployment rate, it's not going to be nearly as good," said Kesselring.

McGavran says many retailers are doing their part to put more people to work at least for a while.

"We do see a lot of our stores gearing up for the holiday season.   They're doing lots of holiday hiring.   It is seasonal employment but it is an increase," said McGavran.

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