BARNSTABLE – With time running out on the Christmas shopping season, this year is proving to be a strong one for retailers, both statewide and locally.
Stores are reporting an increase in shoppers, which falls in line with predictions for increased consumer activity this year. In November, The Retailers Association of Massachusetts predicted a 3.9 percent increase in holiday shopping.
“Falling gas prices, the fact that the weather has been mild so home heating costs will be mitigated somewhat, and the fact that employment is very high,” said Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Wendy Northcross, citing some of the factors behind the strong season. “Consumer confidence is high and that makes people spend a little bit more, especially when they’re in the holiday mood and feeling generous.
Northcross said this season has been a vast improvement over the holiday seasons in the midst of the Great Recession. “Things are back on track, which is very important for Cape Cod,” she said.
Official numbers for this season won’t be available for a few months.