SAN JOSE — Perfect weather and no COVID health restrictions seemed to put shoppers in a buying mood on the Memorial Day holiday as they filled the sidewalks at Santana Row.
They were easing up on the purse strings and filling up their shopping bags.
“Now we can come out and have a little bit more freedom. Spend the money we didn’t get to spend during the pandemic,” said Kimmel Rodrigues, a shopper in San Jose.
Nationwide, retail sales rose one percent in April according to the National Retail Federation. The increase could indicate consumers are weathering the chilling effect of inflation.
For many at the popular South Bay shopping destination, they were buying the “wants” not necessarily the “needs.”
“It makes you feel good to spend a little bit unnecessarily,” said Kim Rodrigues.
Retail, restaurants and the box office are also up. “Top Gun: Maverick” had a $156 million opening weekend, breaking Memorial Day records.
It’s a rebound for movie theaters which were close to shutting down permanently two years ago.
“A blockbuster like ‘Top Gun’ makes it feel like pre-pandemic normal, said Dan Orloff, of the Pruneyard Cinemas.
“The crowds are back, there are people all around. They’re having drinks, they’re eating, they’re shopping, they’re coming into the movies. It feels real normal,” Orloff said.
And may just be the beginning. Retailers just hope they can keep up with what they’re calling the pent-up demand.
First published on May 30, 2022 / 7:05 PM
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