KENNEWICK, Wash.—Holiday spending may have a lot more to do with the weather than it does the economy. It seemed most people in the Tri-Cities shopped on Black Friday and logged on Cyber Monday, but with the snow, many shoppers stayed home. Now with clearer roads, they are back out again.
"A lot of families are also coming in and purchasing big elaborate TV set ups with home theater systems, so there's lots of people spending a lot of money," says Mike Bevelacqua, Best Buy Manager.
According to Ajsa Suljic, Labor Economist, retail is the third largest industry in the Tri-Cities. Just this season, about 300 new people have been hired, that's an increase of 1.7% since last year. The rest of Washington is down about .3%.
"That's a good indicator that we're doing well, that retailers are trying to bump up the number of people they're serving," says Suljic.
She says one reason is the Tri-Cities is a central location for shoppers. Cities like Walla Walla and Umatilla aren't too far making Tri-Cities an ideal place to purchase holiday gifts, and Best Buy has the numbers to prove it.
"We've been very busy this holiday season. We're doing excellently," says Bevelacqua.