Updated 10/02/2012 06:48 PM
Holiday sales projected to rise
It may be the first week of October, but it's never too early to start thinking about holiday shopping. This year, retailers also have something at the top of their list: Better sales. Our Solomon Syed tells us if they'll get their wish.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Retailers hope the jingle bells of cash registers keep ringing right through year's end. The National Retail Federation predicts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales. So far, local shops already see some solid indicators.
"We've already had people in here, the last three weeks, Christmas shopping," said Sharon Fanno, owner of Circles at Stuyvesant Plaza.
That's a little ahead of schedule from what they're used to at the popular women's boutique, but retail analysts aren't surprised.
"Consumers are starting to move into the holiday frame of mind, the weather's turning it's getting cooler," said Rebecca Marion Flach, spokesperson for the Retail Council of New York State. "Somewhere between 30 and 40 percent like to start shopping early."
This year the goal, more than ever, is to find the best deal. Retailers say they're biggest competition is coming from rising prices at the pump and in grocery store, which may actually help small, local shops beat out the big box stores.
"You can spend a hundred dollars and walk out with 10 to 20 things, depending on what you get," said Michael Richman, owner of Ta-da! specialty toy store, also in Stuyvesant Plaza.
Despite optimism, sales are still expected to be down from increases over the last two years, likely owing to uncertainty here and abroad.
"The presidential election will affect how people shop, what's happening overseas will affect how people shop," said Flach.
Whether you're a toy store or a boutique, retailers hope peace on earth, will bring good will to them.
"After the election, I think no matter which way they go, I think people will have a better idea of the direction we're going and it will help shopping," said Fanno.
"It was a strong back to school season, I think that's going to carry right over into the holiday season," said Richman.