He said the equivalency of the loonie to the U.S. dollar (the dollar was worth just a penny more that day) also was a factor in choosing to shop south of the border.
While Noel said he and Duheme have a lower budget than last year, others were able to raise their Christmas spending.
Stan and Bonnie Kusalonis of Peru said their spending went up from last year because the gifts on their list are more expensive.
“The kids got bigger; it’s more expensive what they want,” Bonnie said.
Even with larger budgets for some, retail stores have seen mixed results when it comes to revenue.
Champlain Centre General Manager David Napolitan said retailers reported a strong Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving.
But FYE Manager Michael Pearsall said that while the number of shoppers has been comparable to 2011, people may be spending less. The numbers aren’t what they used to be.
Pearsall said lines at the entertainment store in the mall used to snake back toward the aisles. On this recent afternoon, the line barely cracked the beginning of the roped path to the registers.
Shoppers still are not being quick to spend their money, Pearsall said, and he thinks a lack of snow makes a difference, too.
“It gets people in that shopping mood,” he said. “(Without snow), some people don’t pay attention. They say, ‘Oh, I’ve got some time.’”
He said he expects a rush of shoppers in the coming weeks.