Local business owners optimistic about holiday spending
BATON ROUGE- South Louisiana retailers say they are optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping season, which will start in earnest at many stores and shopping malls on Thanksgiving night.
Baton Rouge's Mall of Louisiana General Manager Tony Stephens says that his mall has more tenants than ever before and expects sales to be high.
Stephens and mall officials wouldn't give specific holiday sales projections, saying they were basing their optimism on conversations with stores and the early number of shoppers.
The holiday shopping season accounts for about 20 percent of annual retail sales.
The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales will increase by 3.7 percent over 2014 figures, down slightly from the improvements seen in recent years. Spending rose by 4.1 percent in 2014 and 2013.