Montgomery businesses hope for 2011 economic rebound

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Josh Davis at The Locker Room men's store on Carter Hill Road won't hesitate to tell you,  "we really feel like the worst of this recession is behind us."

Davis says numbers were strong from October to December.  And it didn't stop when 2011 rolled around.

"We really didn't know what to expect. Ya know, the holiday season was good, but we didn't know if things would kinda fall back after that.  But, we kept that same momentum, we saw a lot more traffic," adds Davis.

Employees at The Locker Room coined a phrase to describe the increase in foot traffic. They're calling it "pent-up demand" where customers come in anxious to spend money they may have been holding onto for a while.

"It's definitely time to play catch-up," says customer Blake Horne.  He admits the grip on his wallet isn't quite as tight these days.

"Definitely less anxiety about spending more. Of course the Christmas season, I would say probably spent a little more this year than we did last year."

Across town, folks like Jarrett Robinson at Cohen's Electronics say Christmas was good, but it's been hard to keep the momentum going.

"January kinda tapered off because the holiday season was over.  So, it wasn't as busy as it normally was."

Robinson says folks are shopping, but they're more concerned about getting the most bang for their buck.

"In the past when folks were quick to spend, now it may take two, or three more visits before they spend," says Robinson.

Both Davis and Robinson say so far, February's looking good.

"We have the highest expectations for 2011," says Davis.

Directors with the Alabama Retail Association say winter weather hurt store owners in north Alabama this January.

They doubt January sales tax revenues will be up since some stores were closed for 5 days.

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