Friday marks what many consider the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and Wisconsin may have a chance at beating national projections for retail sales this year.
The National Retail Federation projects a 3.7 percent increase in sales this holiday season. Madison-based retail analyst Doug Johnson says Wisconsin is expected to top that trend, with sales projected to come in at closer to 4-percent.
That's despite factors such as rising gas prices and an unstable housing market. However, Johnson says consumer confidence remains strong, as does the state economy. Both factors could get more consumers out shopping.
One area where Wisconsin businesses may suffer though is competition from online retailers. Johnson says nearly 30-percent of holiday shopping is expected to be done online this year. However, Johnson says many Wisconsin retailers are fighting that trend by offering their own products online.