Local merchants see boost in sales

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As we wrap-up the Christmas shopping season, retailers are breathing a sigh of relief. Holiday sales spiked nationally and locally.

Registers -- ringing, customers -- spending...a combination that's giving retailers a reason to smile.

According to the Richmond Merchants Association survey- 85% of local merchants saw an increase in sales over this holiday season.

"People are thinking about locals first - they know on the dollar they give back more," said Nancy Thomas, President of the Retail Merchants Association.

The survey covered area merchant sales from Friday, November 25th to Christmas Eve.

Retailers say discounts help to attract customers to stores...and that's not all.

"I think it's the customer service. Our shop local campaign promoted by the merchants promote," Thomas said.

The increase in sales was seen in clothing jewelry, furniture, shoe, and electronic stores. The upward tick in sales can be seen nationwide.

New data shows --online sales on Christmas Day grew by 16.4% from last year. Similar to trends seen over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The National Retail Federation estimates a 3.8% rise in sales, compared to last year. Now, the goal is to keep the momentum going.

"This will be a big week. People will start cashing in their gift cards-- which is great," Thomas added.

Experts say consumer confidence is up -- which is part of the reason retailers saw an increase in sales.

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