Shopping for the season is on the rise everywhere, but there’s plenty here at home

Published 10:53 am Friday, December 18, 2015

There’s nothing wrong with seeking the best deal, hunting for the best prices or making a purchase based on convenience and ease.

What that means in today’s economy is — more often than not — is making your purchases online, rather than going to a store, the mall or an outlet center.

According to information released this week, online sales growth so far this holiday season is surpassing growth in sales at physical stores, according to First Data, which analyzed online and in-store payments from Oct. 31 through Monday.

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Sales growth for stores is up 2 percent, while online sales rose 4.6 percent, according to First Data, which declined to give dollar figures, citing proprietary reasons.

Total spending, including sales in both physical stores and online, climbed 2.4 percent, stronger than the 1.8 percent growth during the same period last year.

And while we will never bemoan how someone spends their money, doing purchases only online just doesn’t give you the experience, the expertise or the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance you get when going to an actual store, especially a locally-owned, operated store.

For those in Vicksburg, purchasing items on your Christmas list online — while quick, easy and efficient, would not have had the chance to walk down Washington Street in downtown Vicksburg on a day more resembling a spring or early fall day. There are the smells from the restaurants, such as KJ’s, 10 South or Monissour’s, beckoning and the sweet and soulful looks from Gracie, the cordial dog that greets each customer at Art & Soul.

Could those items purchased in downtown Vicksburg been purchased somewhere online? Maybe. Maybe not.

But, that is not the point we are trying to make.

In this fast world we live, where we use our technology to make everything simpler, from our banking, to buying, from listening to music to watching our favorite show, it easy to forget the little things that make the Christmas shopping season so different and at times, so special.

The National Retail Federation expects sales for November and December to rise 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion this year. The money spent in Vicksburg and Warren County will only be a small drop in that overall bucket, but the value of those dollars spent is far more than face value.

With only a few shopping days remaining, we would ask — we would encourage — for you to enjoy what Vicksburg has to offer, what Vicksburg has available.


Information from Associated Press reports contributed to this editorial.