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Holiday Sales Soar In 2021 Despite COVID-19 Concerns

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The weekend before Christmas is typically one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

With supply chain issues, the National Retail Federation says plenty of people got an early start on holiday shopping this year.

Holiday sales soared in November, which puts the 2021 holiday season on track for record numbers, despite a series of possible setbacks.

According to the NRF, the trend is expected to continue through December, and even with a new strain of COVID-19 looming, vaccines and health and safety protocols have shoppers feeling safe.

Even in the home stretch of the holiday shopping season, sales are still better than expected.

"I would say it was overwhelming this year," said Allison Brougher, the owner of Euro Haus.

Brougher said this year, sales have been better than ever and she hasn't had to wait around for supplies.

"Definitely a significant increase this year over last year or any year for that matter," she said. "I've gotten every single thing I've ordered. I ordered a little bit early but even up until this week I got them in."

Some holiday shoppers have said they get a head start every year but the concern of shipping delays and long lines motivated them to shop early in 2021.

"Most of it in stores some of it online but we're pretty much done try to get done before everything hits," said Gerald McGrew of Dravosburg. "This is why we're down here just enjoying ourselves. We don't have to worry about shopping or last-minute gifts, we don't have to be here or there, we can do whatever we want."

The NRF president says that plenty of people saved up their stimulus checks from last year, which has allowed them to spend more on Christmas gifts, making it a smoother year for retailers.

They expect holiday shopping numbers to grow almost 12-percent compared to last year by the end of the year.

That would be the highest on record.

However, the record numbers don't necessarily mean shops have completely recovered from their COVID-19 losses but are still gaining back what was lost.

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