Local retailers see increase in foot traffic during holiday shopping

Home for the Holidays

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A large number of Mississippians are shopping online ahead of Christmas due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, delays at the post office are making some rethink how they do their shopping.

Slow deliveries have complicated business for retailers, who rely on postal services to ship packages. The delays are frustrating many. Some shoppers have even decided to take matters into their own hands by heading to the stores. 

“Fifty-fifty, you know. Trying to support the local stores, and it’s just good to get out. I think everybody is just sick of being home, us included. Some things you want to kind of get in your hands and look at before you buy, and you cant always do that online,” said one shopper.

Many retailers are relying on increased sales during the holidays to make up for missed profits earlier in the year. While postal services are working at a holiday volume rate, they are doing it with just 74 percent staffing.

With the delays, retailers said it hasn’t really affected their sales. People have been coming to stores instead.

“It’s been a very different season in my time here at Target. I haven’t seen anything like what we have here. There’s been a slight increase than in some of the earlier months, but going into the holiday time, there’s definitely been a lot more guests actually in the store doing their shopping. I will say yesterday, the Saturday before Christmas, I was very shocked. Only six percent of our sales for the day were based online. So about 94 percent was foot traffic. So that was shocking to me, personally,” said Linsey Brown and Clare Beckam, who are managers of a local Target store.

Leaders at the postal service said some delays are inevitable during the holidays, and they ask people for patience.

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