Dec 26, 2011 7:59 PM by Matt Stafford

Local and national expectations high for shopping season

"We were just lucky to get a parking spot," one couple told News 5 as they made their way into a Colorado Springs mall.

Several people are back to shopping the day after Christmas, and it isn't much calmer on the inside the stores.

"We're bringing something back after Christmas to exchange sizes," says Jan Fitzgerald.

Along with returns; sales are on the minds of a lot of people, but the mall is just happy to see coming in.people stopping by.

"We should get numbers, we'll get them in January; generically they're (tenants) very happy with this holiday season, and we're happy we've seeing better traffic than we've probably in the last four years," says Victoria Harley, general manager of the Chapel Hills Mall.

A big change from last year; mall managers say gift cards are making a comeback.

"They have begun very well," says Harley.

Hopes are high around the country too; the National Retail Federation is projecting $469 billion being spent nationwide this holiday season -- what would be a record, and an increase of about four percent from last year.

Locally, they hope they're seeing signs of that.

"Not only do we see a lot of traffic, but we see a lot of people carrying shopping bags," says Harley. "We've been very pleased, and we think the tenants have been pleased as well."

For the people who mark everything off their "to do" list, they seem pretty pleased too.

Managers at the Citadel Mall and the Pueblo Mall are seeing similar trends; packed parking lots, heavy foot-traffic, and a comeback for gift cards. They just hope the numbers match up with the expectations.



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