When the weather starts turning crisp it’s time to pull out the warm clothes, snow shovels and – wrapping paper. Retailers in the New North are gearing up for the holiday shopping season, forecasting mild increases in sales and expecting to hire flurries of seasonal workers. The National Retail Federation says holiday sales will increase 4.1 percent this year, slightly better than the 10-year average of 3.5 percent (see Trends in Retail, p. 31).
The Green Bay area and Fox Cities counts on its retail market to provide a kick to visitor dollars, and the region’s retail market fills a consumer niche, providing the right climate for visitors from places like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Joe and Jamie Hansen (pictured) of Menominee, Mich., take a break from shopping and have lunch at Bay Park Square Mall in Ashwaubenon in October.
While a retail forecast can be as iffy as the weather, the calendar doesn’t falter: Christmas is coming. –By Nikki Kallio