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Shoppers fight on, despite recession

As we round the bend to Christmas and Mariah Carey Christmas ballads serenade shoppers across the city, Vancouver retailers are preparing for the annual last-minute gift rush.

As we round the bend to Christmas and Mariah Carey Christmas ballads serenade shoppers across the city, Vancouver retailers are preparing for the annual last-minute gift rush.

The toy business is thriving despite the recession, said Joanna Mileos, owner of Granville Island Toy Company.

Customers aren’t buying as many big-ticket items, like dollhouses and play kitchens, as last year, said Mileos, but they’re buying more smaller items.

This weekend Mileos expects a rush.

“A lot of people are probably like me — last-minute shoppers,” she laughed. “We’re just making sure our shelves are as full as they possibly can be and (that we have) extra staff to help people.”

Future Shop expects 30 million Canadian customers this month, said Elliott Chun, the store’s communications manager. Holiday sales at Future Shop are up this year.

“We are seeing people come in, especially in the Vancouver area, and make big-ticket purchases like HD TVs or 3-D TVs,” a trend he attributed partly to low TV prices.

Boxing Day will be a big day for the electronics retailer, with seasonal hiring having begun in October.

 
 
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