ASHWAUBENON - We're heading into the home stretch of holiday shopping. But are shoppers spending more this year?
"We're here to see Santa," said Shawn Collard of De Pere, who waited in line with her son and daughter Sunday.
As shoppers line up to see the man in red, they're also ready to spend some green.
"We're going to buy some presents for their dad," said Collard.
Shoppers packed Bay Park Square mall this weekend, even as the Packers played for the division title against the Bears.
"We've had a busy parking lot and lots of traffic in the mall. This past weekend has been crazy. People are shopping for their last minute gifts. We're excited. We think in the next 10 days we're going to be extremely busy as it always traditionally is with the last push before Christmas," said Stephanie Blavat.
Overall, holiday sales are up 2.2 percent to $659 billion from Nov. 1 through last Saturday, according ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based firm that tracks spending at 40,000 stores across the country. That's slightly below the 2.7 percent increase over the Thanksgiving weekend when shoppers spent $22 billion.
There are only 9 days left to get the perfect present.
And the manager at Shopko says they'll be rolling out plenty of discounts to get people in to shop as much, or even more, than last year.
"The big difference between the two years is we actually have an extra weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. So, it'll take us getting through next weekend to know how our sales are going," said Dale Adams, the manager of the Ashwaubenon Shopko.
For some of those shoppers who appear to be stragglers, there is a method to their present-buying madness. They say they purposely wait until they see the 50 percent off signs right before Christmas to get their gifts.
"Usually around now is when the kid's stuff goes on sale, so that's why we wait," said Collard.
For retailers, their Christmas wish is for more people to stop and shop, before we say farewell to this holiday season.
Shopko says it expects sales to be on par with last year's.
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