Fed By Threads retail sales lead the holiday

Fed By Threads retail sales lead the holiday

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Christmas holiday sales numbers won't be released until January but the despair was already being felt when early projections for Black Thursday, Local Saturday and Cyber Monday were lower than projected.

But whether that despair continues throughout the holiday season is uncertain.

Revised numbers released by the Commerce Department show the economy grew at a robust 5% for the third quarter.

That's the biggest jump since 2003 and one that seems to give credence to the argument that the economy is revving up.

It's still too early to tell if that may bode well for the shopping season.

But at least one local business feels that holiday sales will be very good.

"We've had the biggest weekend, the biggest month we've ever had in the history of our business," says co-founder and CEO of

, Alok Appadurai. "We're about double the sales we had last year at this time."

And it doesn't appear that

is an anomoly


e's a sense of optimism here in Tucson I think amongst the people I know," says Michele Walsh, one of the stores shoppers. "Here locally, it seems we've been seeing that for a while."

Walsh says she was a mall shopper but in recent years, that's changed as Tucson has added more stores and variety.

is one of those.

It sells American made sustainable apparel and makes donations to the local food bank for every item sold.

Whether all local or many local or some local stores are doing as well, it would be hard to measure.

But there are indications that buying local is catching on.

Last year Local First Arizona concluded in a survey of local businesses, that local stores outperformed the big box, national retails chains by 1.7%.

"When you put that money into a local business, up to four times more stays here in our local community, recirculates and re circulates jobs," says Erika Mitnik-White, the Tucson membership co-ordinator for Local First Arizona.

It appears as Tucson increases its choices and people become more aware of how local spending benefits the community, more a switching.

"There's an absolute groundswell happening locally and across the country," says Appadurai. ""Customers are saying we really want our dollars to land in the local economy."

The numbers for how well the holiday shopping season turned out won't be official until January so it's difficult to determine if the good economic news has given shoppers a confidence boost driving them to the stores.

But some are already feeling it.

"We're all feeling that boat rise," says Appadurai.

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