Ala. retailers expect potential growth in holiday spending this year

Updated: Nov. 16, 2020 at 9:40 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re probably not going to see lines of people wrapping around buildings to take advantage of those Black Friday deals this year.

But a different Black Friday doesn’t necessarily mean a slow one.

Spending in Alabama last year during November and December reached an all-time high at $13.25 billion, and analysts say this year’s holiday sales will be unchanged or could even grow.

Alabama retailers say these past several months of the pandemic have prepared them to get creative this holiday shopping season.

That means offering more curbside pickup, updating their inventory online, and keeping shoppers engaged on social media.

And with less people spending money on holiday vacations, the Alabama Retail Association said it’s important shoppers spend that money locally, which means retailers are stepping up their online game.

“They are sharing on a daily basis products on their social media, through email blasts, through all the ways that they’ve been communicating with their customers all along,” said Nancy Dennis with ARA. "But they’ve set that up so that customers know-- yes, you can get this if you want to order matching pajamas. You don’t have to do that Amazon. You can get them from our store. "

Dennis said more small businesses are also hiring right now to make sure they have enough staff on hand for holiday orders and enough workers if some get sick.

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