GUILDERLAND: Shoppers make a strong showing

With the holiday shopping season winding down, retailers can now begin to take a look back and evaluate their busiest time of the year.

During the past five weeks, foot traffic at Crossgates Mall has been heavy, parking lots jammed, and the lines have been long as shoppers have been packing into the mall and other area retailers to finish up their holiday shopping.

Sara Nieves, marketing director at Crossgates, said she was very pleased with the 2006 shopping season.

It went extremely well, she said.

Nieves said mall staff has recently begun to speak with retailers to see how their season went, and though they have only spoken with a handful of stores, she said the input has been pretty positive.

Nieves said merchants have been complimentary of the mall for its role in keeping foot traffic flowing into their stores each day, and retailers have also reported that extended hours have gone a long way in increasing traffic.

"We do understand this holiday season has proven to be a successful season at Crossgates Mall," said Nieves.

According to the Retail Council of New York State, Crossgates wasn't the only place to see a strong holiday shopping season. The council's Holiday Sales Watch, conducted Dec. 11 and 12, gauged retailers' perception of sales activity since the Black Friday weekend. At that time, 59 percent of merchants surveyed indicated they were pleased with their sales, while 62 percent described their sales as better than or similar to the same period in 2005.

"Depending on the retailer, 10 to 40 percent of profits are based on what happens during the holiday season," said Rebecca Marion, spokeswoman for the council.

And though Christmas has passed, many retailers still rely on the post-holiday shoppers to boost their numbers.

Gift cards, returns and after-Christmas sales keep the people flowing into the mall. Nieves said the season usually begins to slow down significantly in the second or third week of January.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment