BRADENTON — Libby Engel already sees local consumers in the holiday spirit.
At Crowder’s Gifts and Gadgets, the gift shop director says Christmas decor has been a popular purchase since the inventory hit the shelves earlier this month.
“Last year that was really not a great category,” Engel said. “This year we’re seeing more Christmas items being bought, which indicates people might have a little extra to spend.”
Retail trade associations, too, expect discretionary spending to boost holiday sales.
The Florida Retail Federation on Monday announced it projects a 3 to 4 percent holiday sales increase for retailers statewide. The National Retail Federation forecasts a 2.3 percent increase nationwide for an estimated $447.1 billion in holiday sales.
“Consumer confidence, without question, is the strongest motivator for spending,” said Rick McAllister, president and chief executive officer of the Florida Retail Federation.
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