In a good sign for city, last-minute shoppers swarm San Marcos outlets

Last-minute shoppers swarm outlet malls just four days before Christmas. (KXAN photo)
Last-minute shoppers swarm outlet malls just four days before Christmas. (KXAN photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – The rush is on to wrap up Christmas shopping. Outlet malls in Central Texas are bustling, a good sign for San Marcos after the city reported a bit of a struggle with sales earlier this year.

Everyone has their own approach when it comes to Christmas shopping. “Once I buy things I don’t like going back and returning it,” said San Marcos shopper Isaiha Doucet. “In my opinion, in-person is the best way to do any Christmas shopping or shopping in general.”

A big chunk of America will finish shopping from home just days before Christmas, while other like Doucet are choosing to take matters into their own hands.

“It’s just easier doing it in person because now I can just go home, wrap everything up and put it away,” said outlet mall shopper Dakota Patterson.

San Marcos city leaders wish more would forget the internet and head to the outlets. “The outlet malls account for around 37 to 40 percent of our sales tax collections,” said San Marcos finance director Heather Hurlbert.

Earlier this year, the city of San Marcos noticed a drop in sales at the outlets. In fact a look at the data will tell you sales have been slowly dropping for at least two years, turning the city to focus on bringing in other businesses.

“We have been fortunate in that our base sales tax, not including some of our outlet malls and not including some of our one time collections, so our base sales tax continues to increase,” said Hurlbert.

She says the addition of more businesses has helped even out the dip from early 2017. Still, a last-minute shopping trip to the actual store doesn’t hurt. In fact, the city says the gift will not only bring a smile to your loved one but help a city looking for a little more revenue.

The outlets have extended their hours for last minute shoppers. Businesses will remain open until 9 p.m. on Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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