Less Than Two Weeks to Shop For Christmas Gifts

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It's that time of year. Time to shop till you drop! Many of East Tennesseeans are doing just that.

And as Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel explains, it's really giving our local economy a big boost.

Here in East Tennessee, retailers especially depend on the Holiday shopping season. It's the time of year where they make their biggest profits and usually offer their biggest sales, but one thing they really focus on is Tennessee's 9.25 percent sales tax.

"Christmas represents about 25-percent of what we will make all year long," said J.C. Penney Sales Manager Michelle Porter.

Whether it's socks and slippers or blankets and bedding. Everyone's looking for the perfect gift this Holiday season and paying whatever it takes to get it.

"So far I'm finding everything I wanted," shopper Karen Smith said.

But sales managers say this year, they're seeing a lot more smart shoppers.

"We have seen so many. They are just so educated and they know what they want and they know how to competitive shop a little bit better than in years past, so they're really getting the best deal they can where they can get it," Porter said.

And retailers are promoting huge sales to bring shoppers into the store.

"They are planning in advance for this months ahead. They are dealing with aftermath months after Christmas," UT economics professor Matt Murray said.

While retailers are racking up the profit, people living in East Tennessee are taking advantage of this season, too

"They pick up part-time jobs for that time of year, students tend to pick up jobs to get money generally, but also to help them buying things for the Christmas season," Murray said.

And with a more than 9-percent sales tax.

"It's outstanding," Smith said.

Every chance to save helps ease the stress of spending.

"Here in Tennessee, we rely very heavily on sales tax," Murray said. "So it's important to see a healthy Christmas season."

Healthy is one way to describe it.

"It's busy and hectic and chaotic, but we live for it because there are so many happy customers that walk out our door," Porter said.

Online shopping isn't factored into the local economy, usually because you buy products from all over the U.S., but if you prefer the store, you only have 10 more shopping days to get out there and find that perfect gift at a perfect price.