holiday shopping

The Alexander City Chamber of Commerce is hosting the "'Tis the Season to Shop Local" campaign to encourage residents to shop at small businesses this holiday season.

Alabamians, like the rest of the nation, have already begun their holiday shopping to ensure they can get the gifts they want and that those gifts arrive on time.

Through September, Alabama consumers had spent almost 8% more than they did in 2019, based on Alabama Revenue Department reports on all state-taxed sales. That growth came despite the business disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Retail analysts and economists agree this year’s holiday sales will be unchanged over the 2019 holidays or grow modestly. Unchanged would be good, because spending in Alabama in 2019 during the traditional holiday shopping months of November and December reached an all-time high of $13.25 billion.

For the past decade, and especially the past few years, shoppers moved away from the traditional Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) holiday shopping kickoff to Black November as their cue to begin shopping. COVID-19 has given shoppers reason to start their purchasing even earlier.

Alabama’s retailers are well-stocked and ready to serve their customers however they want to shop safely — in store, online, through apps or social media, delivery or pickup/curbside. The Alabama Retail Association encourages shoppers to keep Alabama businesses open by planning to safely shop Alabama for the holidays throughout the holiday shopping season.