Economy spells holiday shopping trouble?

PASADENA, Calif. At retail outlets along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, foot traffic seems to be disappearing.

"It's going to be a pretty rough year in terms of holiday shopping," said Ed Martinez, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

Some experts predict this could be the roughest year for holiday shopping since the recession of 1991.

"I'm cutting down already. I'm, you know ... holidays ... maybe shopping for food. But that's it, "said Mona Castro, a Monterey Park resident.

"Some presents, just not as expensive as usual," said Bratt Nichols, a Monrovia resident.

Juan Euste, an Altadena resident, said he would cut down on gifts for the family. "Hopefully it will get better soon," said Euste.

Fewer shipping containers are coming into the Port of Los Angeles, which some say is a clear indicator of trouble for retailers in the Southland.

"I think retailers, from Macy's all the way down ... they've looked at the consumer confidence numbers here in the United States ... seen that they're pretty shay, that people aren't buying. I think the retailers are making plans that they're going to be stuck with lots of excess inventory. So they're not shipping as much as they have in the last couple of years," said Martinez.

With all the negative news from Wall Street retailer giants like Best Buy are clinging to optimism.

"In a market like this we are really optimistic because, once again, the exception to the rule is always electronics during the Christmas season. So we're excited," said David Boger, Best Buy.

However, those gifts may be a tough sell with America's free-spending ways of yesterday seemingly gone.

"I'm just worried about between now and Christmas. I can't think any further than that. I can't think that far," said Deedee Anderson, a Pasadena resident.

Economic experts say the fact that many holiday shoppers will go into hiding this season could mean the economy will get worse before it gets better.


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