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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With Cyber Monday coming to a close tonight, local business owners are celebrating a weekend they say was the most profitable of 2011. They’re hoping this is just a preview of what they can expect for the rest of the holiday shopping season.

According to the National Retail Federation, this weekend shattered spending records of years past, with about $42.4 billion in revenue being pumped into the economy. Business owners in the Cape Fear say they saw a boom in business this weekend at their stores. They are crossing their fingers that this is the retail turn around they’ve been waiting for.

“This was our best year yet,” said Hallelu Boutique owner Catherine Yearwood. “We were up about 20 percent. I think that our community is really starting to realize how important it is to shop local and invest in our local economy.”

Stores like Hallelu in Wrightsville Beach are now recovering from what they call the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Yearwood says restocking and reorganizing after a busy weekend is a good problem to have, though.

“We were steady from the moment our doors opened and we were shoving people out the door,” said Yearwood. “I was really surprised how busy we were this year.”

And the ladies weren’t the only one’s getting in on the shopping action. Harrison Sasser, owner of The Gentlemen’s Corner in Lumina Station, says his store was packed all weekend too.

“The turnout was great as in traffic and our numbers were pretty impressive as well,” said Sasser. “We really owe that just to the customer and client base here in the community.”

Sasser says this was the busiest weekend his store has seen since it opened last year. He says he thinks people were more inclined to shop locally because they can get what they want right here in the area and it helps boost our local economy.

“The dollars that are spent with any local retailer are turned around and spent here in the community,” said Sasser. “So, I think not only do we benefit from that but everyone in the community does as well.”

One thing’s for sure, business owners are grateful for their customers. They say they hope that the business they say over the weekend is a sign of an upturn in the economy.

“I really think we’re on the up and up and this is a look into our turn around,” said Yearwood.

Like many other businesses, Hallelu is offering free shipping on your order until midnight Monday night to entice shoppers to buy online. www.shophallelu.com

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