Local business owners say holiday sales strong in New Orleans - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Local business owners say holiday sales strong in New Orleans

Magic Box Toys on Magazine St. Magic Box Toys on Magazine St.

Local small business owners in New Orleans say Christmas sales this year are up. It's good news for the city, as that isn't the case for rest of the country.

With just hours to go before Christmas morning, shops along Magazine Street were packed with people Monday.

Shoppers lined up outside the doors of Magic Box toy store, before they even opened. Once inside, Sue-Dee Lazzerini said, "I bought Legos for my four-year-old godson."

Business owners such as Marlowe D'Agostino say they're not surprised as sales have been good this year. "It started out a little slow locally, but it's picked up the last couple of weeks and been a lot of fun. We're lucky we have a lot of loyal, local shoppers," D'Agostino said.

According to analysts, holiday sales across the country are low. But those loyal shoppers are helping local businesses to buck the trend.

Shopper Beverly Riley commented, "I do like to support the locals, our city."

Tom Ewing added, "These are our neighbors.  We go out of our way to support local businesses."

There are other factors at play as well that contribute to the high sales this year.  According to the New Orleans Business Council, more and more jobs are opening up in New Orleans. Those jobs are bringing a younger workforce and those folks are bringing their money to spend.

Betsy Ordemann, the owner of Magic Box Toys, said, "We just see a lot of the young people that move into town, are definitely... they've been sort of groomed to shop local and they'll come in and say, 'I never shop anywhere else except local,' and we appreciate that."

Even shoppers we met who are on a budget are finding ways to stretch their dollar this holiday season. "I'm not flying anywhere so that money I'm putting in on presents," Sue-Dee Lazzerini said.

Betsy Ordemann is just happy people continue to spend their money locally.  It's a trend she thinks will continue, saying, "We're all seeing a bit of an upturn and it's very slow and very slight but it definitely looks like customers are becoming more confident in the economy."

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