C.O. retailers excited over holiday sales

Old Mill stores say 2013 sales up over years past

Holiday sales looking good for retailers

BEND, Ore. - Christmas is getting closer and closer and this year, retailers in Bend are smiling.

More and more of you are headed to their shops.

Store owners in the Old Mill District say business is a lot better than it has been over the last few years.

This weekend, they expect to be busy, as Christmas continues to creep closer.

"There is still definitely a little bit of hesitation," Vanilla Urban Threads' April Lawyer said Friday. "But I think they have definitely loosened up a little bit."

A spokeswoman for the Shops at the Old Mill says November sales are strong, but they did have a slowdown during last weekend's extreme cold snap.

"It's definitely in the last two days has ramped up," Lawyer said. "I think we might be in for a crazy weekend, just based on the phone calls we've been receiving."

A sure sign the economy is on the rebound: Jewelery sales are up.

"This year, the Rolex sales have been really off the charts" said Ron Henderson, owner of Saxon's Fine Jewelers. "That does show some of the economy is coming back."

Henderson says he's seeing more cars in the parking lot, and shoppers are toting around more bags filled with holiday gifts.

"We're really on target to hopefully hit a 30 percent increase -- that's our goal," Henderson said.

With sales on the rise, he says it's not just the amount people are spending, but this holiday season has a different mood.

"This year, we're feeling it," Henderson said. "It's not just a kind of pat on the back and a little smile, it's a, 'Hey, we're feeling better.'"

With less than two weeks left until the big day, retailers are hoping the shopping crowds will continue.

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