Holiday spending to hit record numbers; La Crosse area businesses to benefit

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — For many, the gift-buying season kicks off on Black Friday. Experts believe holiday sales this year will be between 8.5 and 10.5% higher than ever before.

These end-of-year sales are crucial for brick-and-mortar businesses.

“These are really critically important for a lot of businesses. For us, its important because it helps set the tone for the next year,” said Tod Wilson, the owner of PopCon Shop at Valley View Mall.

“It’s normally, you know, the biggest part of the year as far as retail goes,” said Missy Hughes, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO and secretary.

Over the past five years, the National Retail Federation says sales jumped, on average, 4.4% each year. This projection is about double– Something brick-and-mortar retailers are ready for after a year of losing sales to online retailers.

Merle 4: “We’re really hoping that this weekend would kind of facilitate those numbers being larger than ever before again. So we’re expecting a big, big weekend,” said Merle Bries, the Tradehome Shoes general manager at Onalaska’s Valley View Mall.

The holiday shopping season is already a big one for sales. Wilson has already seen an increase in foot traffic as the year’s gone on.

“December will be typically twice what our best month of the year otherwise will be,”  Wilson said.

Foot traffic was down last year, so today, retailers are feeling optimistic.

Both retailers and Hughes, emphasized the value of shopping in-person and local.

Hughes says when you shop local, 65 cents of every dollar spent goes right back into the local community.

Even locally, many retailers are still struggling with supply chain shortages. They say the best way to get the products you need… is to shop as soon as possible.

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