LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The risk of COVID-19 did not stop people from hitting the stores this holiday season.
In fact, reports show this year more people shopped compared to last year.

Not as many people were at stores today compared to right before Christmas. But still, shoppers say they’re using the day to spend their gift cards and browse through stores.

Some shoppers say this year they actually spent more time in stores and scrolling deals online than they did last year.

“I feel like I did shopping in a lot of different ways this year. One, I did shopping way more earlier because it gets way more congested. I’m a teacher so I want to avoid getting sick as much as possible. So I tried to avoid it when it was congested so I went early,” said shopper Chelsea Pratt.

Chelsea Pratt is one of many shoppers who checked out both in-person and online this holiday season.
Concerns about COVID spreading didn’t slow down her shopping this holiday season.

“I did a lot online at Amazon, at lot of online on Victoria Secret because it’s easier but, I can’t do online for Bath And Body Works because I can’t smell,” said Pratt.

In a recent report released by Mastercard, payments recorded from November 1st through December 24th showed holiday sales rose 8.5% compared to last year.
It nearly reached the expected 8.8 increase.

“It was a lot busier than any of us expected it to be. There’s just a good energy, honestly I’m excited that people are out shopping. It definitely gives a different feeling than online shopping, so it’s been nice to see,” said Jessica, a store employee

Ashley Gibbard with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan says that the group has been hearing about higher spending this year.

She says it’s a good sign for consumer confidence.

“We continue to see an increase in online shopping, I’m hoping that consumers are getting more savvy when it comes to stuff like that. Consumers are out there supporting small businesses and local businesses as opposed to you know, just doing sole shopping online,” said Gibbard.

Another group that tracks consumer spending, the National Retail Federation, says that holiday sales are expected to be at an increase of between 8 to 10% compared to last year, making it a good end of the year for stores.