Retailers hope for holiday surge

December 17, 2010 (CHICAGO)

"There is a crowd everywhere you go. You just have to figure out what you want, focus on it and go for it," shopper Delic Loyde said.

Retailers nationwide hope this final shopping weekend rings in sales and they're offering discounts to get consumers inside their stores. Unlike last year, stores say they are not breaking their bottom line to do it.

"The shopper and the retailer have both learned had to learn from each other how to maintain the right amount of inventory and make sure to get the deal early before the inventory runs out," John Chikow, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.

On the street and in stores along the Magnificent Mile, the holiday spirit is clearly visible as shop owners hope to benefit from an increase in spending, especially on luxury items by those who are feeling better economic times are ahead.

"We're having a solid season. Last year was pretty sold, but this year we are up about 30-percent over last year. We have excellent numbers this year," said Jimmy Gilliland, OPTICA.

Experts say retailers including department stores and shopping malls in both the city and suburbs could see a surge in sales this weekend.

"These are the times that they hit the store. They have stopped going online, they've stopped going mail order," Peter Gill, Retail Merchants Association, said.

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