By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The mall is closed. Put a bow on it. The 2010 holiday season has been a gift for retailers.

 Mike Schuh reports shoppers weren’t just looking. They were buying too.

 “Business has been stronger than last Christmas,” said Rachel Eagan, a Crate and Barrel employee.

 The Rusta family has shopped on Christmas Eve for  past 15 years.

 “It tends to put us in the whole festivities, the whole scene of the commercial part of Christmas, but tonight we turn to the more religious part,” said Peter Rusta.

 So many people are buying this year that retailers report sales are up over 15 percent compared to last year.

 So strong are sales that Pandora had a waiting list at Towson Town Center on Friday.

 So, is the economy turning around?

 “I’m doing more than I did last year,” said Jessica Mataka, shopper. “Better sales and more money.”

 Sales have been strong all season long.

 “We’ve run out,” Eagan said. “I mean, we’ve sold out of things this year. It’s fantastic.”

 “I was surprised because they keep talking about how bad the economy is, but one of the things I’ve learned about us as human beings is we find money to spend on the things that we want,” said Mischia Toland, Towson Town Center shopper. “So, I’m not really surprised.”

 A couple of big box stores will be open Christmas day—a trend that many retailers hope does not spread widely.

 Shoppers have spent more than $450 billion this holiday season. That’s a slight increase from last year.


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