Traffic, Spending Up at America's Largest Mall

Thursday, 24 Dec 2009 | 9:58 AM ET
Plowing Ahead With Shopping
The biggest shopping center in the country is getting walloped by old man winter, but last minute shoppers are expected to plow ahead anyway, with Maureen Bausch, Mall Of America Executive VP and Bob Barbera, "The Cost Of Capitalism" author.

Last Christmas consumers were cutting back and hoarding cash, leaving retailers out cold.

But this holiday that stockpile of savings might just be a saving grace for retailers in America's largest mall, Maureen Bausch, Mall of America's executive vice president, told CNBC Thursday.

"We knew eventually they'd splurge, and I think they saved up all their money and they're spending it this Christmas, and I think it might just save us this holiday season," said Bausch. "They are buying thoughtfully, but they are buying."

Bausch said she expects to see sales up 2.5 percent from a year ago and has seen a 27 percent increase in traffic over the last few weeks.

Christmas shoppers attend the Galeria Kaufhof warehouse in Munich, Germany.
Getty Images
Christmas shoppers attend the Galeria Kaufhof warehouse in Munich, Germany.

Located in Bloomington, Minn., the mall will be affected by the winter storm expected to hit states across the Midwest Thursday.

An increase in mall traffic Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was likely due to consumers anticipating heavy snowfall Thursday, Bausch said.

Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition
Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition

Mall of America houses 520 stores. Major retailers in the mall report good holiday sales, Bausch said.

"We talk to them on a regular basis and they're consistently telling us this is a very good season for them," said Bausch. "So I'm very optimistic that we might be coming out of it."

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