By Stuart Jones
Stores are hoping that this holiday season will produce better revenue than years past. According to the National Retail Federation, the 2011 holiday retail sales are expected to rise 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion.
Though not as high as last year’s 5.2 percent gain, this year’s gain is slightly higher than the past 10 years average holiday gain in sales at 2.6 percent.
However for college students the economy doesn’t seem to factor in to their shopping this year.
“It doesn’t have to do with the economy, but since I have a job, I feel like now I need to spend more on gifts,” said Tyler Johnson, a sophomore. “Getting my parents a card isn’t enough anymore. I have to get them something nice.”
On the other hand some students find that they are spending less than in years past, but not because of the economy either.
“With how much stores are already pushing sales for Black Friday, it makes me want to go shopping less,” said Ben Donahue, a sophomore.
“I’m going to be spending less on holiday shopping this year because of all the ridiculously early times that stores are opening for Black Friday,” said Katie Le, a sophomore. “I think it would make everyone have to put more effort in to going out and beating the rush and I don’t want to do that. So this year I’m going to stick to the online shopping and find websites that have some sort of shipping deals because I don’t want to pay too much for shipping.”
“I have to do all my shopping online,” said Ilana Israel, a sophomore. “There are no stores around Elon and the closest good shopping center is 40 minutes to an hour away. There is shipping to pay for but once you purchase a certain amount on a website there are usually discounts on shipping.”
With online shopping becoming the trend for Elon shoppers, they need to know what they are looking for.
“As a college student, a lot of the things I will be buying for friends are movies and books,” said Sandy Weiss, a junior. “Some of the big ticket items that other people will be buying have to do with technology. Kindles, Nooks and iPads are going to be very popular.”
“The iPhone 4s and iPads are the big ticket items this year,” said Israel. “I don’t see people buying gaming systems this year, but instead video games, like Skyrim.”
Knowing that this time of year can become expensive once more people are added to the shopping list, Johnson is glad to have one less on his list.
“I’m so glad I’m single around this season because you know that significant others are looking for big gifts,” said Johnson.
But for those that are still looking for a gift for that “friend you don’t really know but they are expecting a gift,” as Johnson puts it, check out fiveBelow, “a really classy dollar store.”