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Economic woes do little to blunt the Christmas rush

<p>The Halifax Shopping Centre is busy with the bustle of Christmasshoppers this week, with some retailers claiming the economic downturnhasn’t affected the holiday rush.<br /> </p>

The Halifax Shopping Centre is busy with the bustle of Christmas shoppers this week, with some retailers claiming the economic downturn hasn’t affected the holiday rush.


In fact, some look to be cashing in.


“Actually, I find that the figures are better this year, as well as our traffic,” said Jeannette Jones, who works at Fairweather.


Linda Townsend, privacy officer for the shopping centre, said although she won’t receive concrete figures until the middle of January, it’s safe to say the mall didn’t take a hit this year.


“So far I would say it’s as good, if not better, compared to last year,” she said, adding the mall has sold more than $1 million in gift cards, which is also well above last year.


Procrastinators will no doubt boost those numbers in the week before Christmas, as stores throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality look to cash in on last-minute shoppers.


“This is my first time out. I’ve waited till the last minute,” said shopper Troy Frasier, who added he’d most likely spend more on Christmas gifts than last year.


Despite these positive indicators, a recent survey by Thinkwell research showed less than one in three Nova Scotians (31 per cent) believe the provincial economy will get stronger over the next six months, down nine points from September.


“Whether or not this will place a damper on holiday shopping in the province remains to be seen,” Len Preeper, president of Thinkwell Research, said in a release.


The survey, conducted Nov. 27 to 30, surveyed 401 Nova Scotian adults carries a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

 
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