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Holiday Shoppers Search for Unique Gifts

Holiday Shoppers Search for Unique Gifts

Posted - Dec. 22, 2003 at 9:30 p.m.



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Samantha Hayes reporting These last few shopping days before Christmas are usually the busiest of the year.

But some national retailers like Wal-Mart say so far, it hasn't been enough to make up for a slow December start.

Samantha Hayes found out where people are choosing to shop and what they're looking for.

Analysts still predict a five percent increase in sales across the board this holiday season, better than last year but not great.

Talking to shoppers today, we found many are looking for gifts outside the big box retailers.

Valerie Rich's one-of-a-kind floral arrangements are a popular item in a store that sells only work from local Utah artists.

Valerie Rich/ Local Artist: "I've been doing it for about six years and the last couple of years it's really taken off. It seems there are a lot of people looking for products like this that are unique and different and not mass produced."

Mary Coleman/ Shopper: "Just something different. Everything in Utah for awhile was starting to feel like the same."

Local merchants who offer something different say business has picked up through December.

Bart Stringham/ Utah Woolen Mills: "This has been an incredibly good year."

Plus Olympic afterglow.

Kristin Neilsen/ The Scandinavian Shop: "The Olympic exposure really helped. A lot of people who didn't know we were here discovered us during the Olympics."

The International Council of Shopping Centers says this year department stores are tracking below projections, while luxury and specialty stores are faring the best.

Jared Best/ Sur La Tables: "We're all working like 14 hour days here."

This holiday season many shoppers acknowledge the economy is getting better although they say that's not changing their personal spending habits. More to the point is we've all been trained that if we wait long enough, there's a great sale around the corner.

Question: "How is your Christmas shopping going?"

Alexandra Angelos/ Shopper: "Pretty good, but we haven't done much so we are going to do a lot lately."

Better late than too early if you want the holiday sales, you can bet that's what retailers large and small are counting on.

And most stores record gift card purchases when they are redeemed, boosting after-Christmas sales.

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