A friend and I were having a conversation at the gym the other morning. She said it seems stores are less crowded this year, and I agreed. I had to go out for a few things last week, and I zipped in and out of three stores.
I suspect the internet has a lot to do with it. I was buried in catalogs via snail mail, and offers via e-mail.
It's always best to support local businesses. If you can't do that, go to a chain store that employs local people. Unfortunately, some of us don't have the time to do a lot of running around. It's so easy and convenient to see something you like, click on it, and have it delivered to your door in two days.
American retail is changing. Rapidly.
There is still a place for brick and mortar stores. There are things, like clothes and shoes, I want to try on first. Wandering through the mall is also a great way to kill an hour. Soft pretzel. Ice cream cone. Can't get that that via the internet.
I'm sure the retail thing will pick up before Christmas. Remember, the last Saturday before Christmas is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Black Friday lost its title a long time ago.
Use common sense. Be safe. Shop wisely. Merry Christmas.