Some Shopping Sales Sagging

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"We're suffering here locally," says one shopper Sunday, and that seems to be the overriding sentiment with shoppers at Lansing Township's Eastwood Towne Center.

"The crowds have been lower than I expected," echoes shopper Shawn Rodgers.

It may have been the snow that kept people home on Sunday, but some shoppers think differently.

"It's more the economy than weather," says Huge Urquidi of Lansing.

"Because of the downturn in the economy, especially in Lansing," agrees Dan Stanczyk of Okemos. "I'm pretty much certain that's why I'm seeing less people here today than in years past."

Stores like Wal-Mart and Gap are feeling the brunt of that statement. Gap's numbers are down 8 percent from where they were last year at the same time, and Wal-Mart is reporting a decline in sales for the first time in 10 years.

And consumers opinions on how good the sales are this year are a mixed bag.

"There are lots of sales, lots of stuff to buy," says Rodgers.

Urquidi disagrees: "You have to shop for the deals. It's not as easy to get as other years."

Consumer morale might be down, but at TreeHouse Toys and Books in Lansing Twp., that's not the story. Owner Brent Taylor says his sales were up last weekend, all last week, and this weekend as well. And he reports seeing no major changes in crowd size at Eastwood.

"The parking lot is always full," he notes.

Profit or no profit, shopper Stanczyk says there's one thing the snow and shopping is doing:

"Bringing out the holiday spirit in me."