Many Bellingham merchants are upbeat about what they are seeing so far this holiday season, but they are anxious about the final 11 days before Christmas.
After checking with more than a dozen Whatcom County retail businesses, there seems to be a consistent theme to the first few weeks of the shopping season: Customers for the most part are in a much better mood, although there are still signs of caution as they do more window shopping and sticking to a budget.
"Customers seem a little more relaxed this year, but they are spending more time scouting around, looking for the right gift," said Jeremy Allen, co-owner of Bellingham Baby Co. in Barkley Village. Fortunately for Allen, the scouts have been returning - so far this season sales are up about 10 percent compared to the same period last year.
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