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Early shoppers expected to break records for holiday sales

Across the nation and Arkansas, we are starting to see growth in the economy with early shoppers expected to break records for November sales.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The holiday season is here and shoppers are spending money at small businesses and big box stores, helping the economy.

“Our retail community has been at this Christmas so far has been record-setting,” said Rogers- Lowell Chamber of Commerce President CEO, Raymond Burns.

Burns says there is a dramatic increase in holiday sales compared to last year. 

“People are shopping more, they’re spending, more they’re able to get out,” Burns said. 

The record-setting sales for the holiday season are coming from November and early shoppers.

Jill Thomas is one of the early shoppers and began getting Christmas gifts in early November.

“We have lots of family and lots of people to buy for," she said. 

Thomas says she shops to pace herself so she can stretch it out over time.  

While early shopping is normal for Thomas, for many others it’s their first time out searching for gifts this holiday season.

“We saw more people out shopping earlier because they didn’t know if they’d be able to find what they were looking for because of the supply and demand issue,” Burns said.

With inflation and supply chain delays impacting manufacturers and delivery companies, many decided to do their shopping early to try to avoid empty store shelves and shipping slowdowns.

However, this still affected early shoppers slightly. 

“Definitely took longer than it usually does,” Thomas said. “But luckily they had all showed up so far.”

Despite many early shoppers, many are trying to get their last-minute Christmas items.

“We've definitely seen a lot of last-minute shoppers, as we are in the five-day countdown for Christmas and so we really picked up in-store and online,” said Roger’s Academy Store Director Khatijah Smith. 

Her store experienced long lines days before Christmas. 

“A lot of traffic just people trying to get those last-minute gifts for their family and friends,” Smith said.

The Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce also says it expects to see record-setting sales for December. However, those numbers won’t be out until February.

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