The holiday season is officially here and there's a push this year to shop locally. The Alabama Retail Association is encouraging local residents to spend their dollars here in Alabama on holiday-related items. The ARA is hosting its annual “Shop Alabama for the Holidays” tour, where representatives are traveling to Huntsville, Cullman, Dothan, Mobile, and Montgomery to encourage people to shop locally. Communication Manager for the Alabama Retail Association, Melissa Warnke, says retail is a key component of local economies. In addition, to the statewide shopping initiative, a campaign celebrating the in-store shopping experience can be seen on social media with #BabyItsSoldInside. "Most people in Alabama are still going inside a store to do their shopping and retailers are going the extra mile to make things fun for their customers with decorations, special events, and special deals,” Warnke said.
“Local retailers are often the ones donating to charities or supporting little league teams, and shopping local this holiday season is a way to show support while stimulating our local economy,” she added.
The Alabama Retail Association predicts shoppers will spend more than $11.5 billion in Alabama on holiday-related items this month and next. The projection is based on expected sales tax collections for November and December. The trade group expects holiday shopping to rise 2 percent over last year and surpass the $11.4 billion spent during the same period in 2016.