SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The future looks bright with retail stores forecasting a record-breaking holiday shopping season, this year. Sales could be more than ten percent higher than last year according to the National Retail Federation.

And shoppers are eager to return back to the stores and the malls.

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“I like coming out here and seeing all the decorations,” said Kathy Holmes who went shopping at Santana Row in San Jose with her mother Harriet.

“Last year we couldn’t come out because of COVID, so this year, I’m really looking forward to coming out and doing my shopping,” said Harriet Holmes.

The effects of the pandemic are still evident in many places, especially downtown shopping districts and those around office buildings where workers still have not returned. In downtown San Jose, many storefronts are still empty.

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On the other hand, destination shopping and entertainment hubs like Santana Row are thriving, in part because they cater to higher income households.

“Many in the tech industry and Silicon Valley have been doing very well, this whole time. They have cash to spend and they’re looking for luxury products,” said Matthew Holian, a San Jose State Economics Professor.

Higher income households are expected to increase spending by 15 percent this season, providing
the biggest bump according to the National Retail Federation.

“I think overall, it should be a net/net growth over last year,” said Rohit Kumar, who plans to spend more this year than last and do more shopping more in person. “We haven’t been out. The Delta has calmed down. I feel like we can be out and enjoy this Christmas, maybe it’s the end of covid, I just feel better.”

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And as retailers know, when shoppers feel better, they spend better.