Spending rises as holiday season nears

6:46 PM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - It was a cloudy, almost lifeless day on St. Paul's Grand Avenue, but a steady stream of people continued to flood in the door of Creative Kidstuff.

Managers were encouraged about recent retail figures that showed consumer spending is up.

"It's been on a steady climb since about early May. We have seen it up over the last year, which is terrific and we love it," Manager Marilyn Utter explained.

Retailers overall reported a four percent increase in September and the Department of Commerce reported the best back-to-back months in two years.

"It's very encouraging. It allows me to hire more temporary people. December will be wonderfully insane around here," Utter said.

University of Minnesota Marketing Chair George John said the overall picture did look a little better, but if you fragment by industry, it isn't all good news for all retailers.

"The picture's not uniform. Other things like electronics (still) illustrate the challenge of the modern economy," the professor explained.

John did say that the overall bump for retailers comes at a good time going into the holiday shopping season. Here's what he says is in store for consumers in the coming months.

"(Stores are) going to stock more and (manufacturers are) going to be putting more money into new products, hopefully, to get you into the store," John explained.

Becky Sabatka at Bibelot on Grand Avenue is already seeing holiday shoppers who gathered around not only the clothing racks, but also the Christmas décor section.

She says retailers are ready to ride the wave through the end of 2012.

"We've definitely noticed as of late that our customer is less restrained than they were even six months ago," she concluded, looking around her busy clothing and gift shop.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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