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Cold temperatures keep shoppers from hitting the stores

READ MORE: Cold temperatures keep shoppers from hitting the stores
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you've stepped outside your door you know how cold it is. For some people this week is valuable shopping time to get those last few gifts crossed off the list. However, the cold temperatures are keeping people from hitting the streets and shopping.

It was a somewhat slow business day in downtown Wilmington and that's because shoppers are opting to stay inside rather than outside.

Christmas is in the air and if you cant see it then you can certainly feel it. The shoppers willing to brave the cold in downtown Wilmington were bundled up.

Gayle Kelly was walking out in the cold and was wearing four shirts, two pants, socks and boots. Folks walking the streets of Wilmington found it hard to describe these frigid temperatures.

"It's bone-chillingly cold," said Gabriel Lehman. "It takes a while to warm up."

It's the week before Christmas and the low temperatures could mean low sales for local stores. Some people are simply choosing to stay inside.

"I think the people are going to the malls because they can go from one place to another without going outside," said Lehman.

Many stores like Edge of Urge in downtown Wilmington are seeing steady business, but the cold is definitely putting a chill on the Christmas shopping season.

"It's like first thing you say to them is how are you doing and they say they're freezing," said Dustin Slemp, who works at Edge of Urge. "So we are giving them a safe haven from them walking around."

For the most part, the streets in downtown Wilmington are empty. Some store managers say they're seeing customers come in their doors looking mainly for specific purchases.

"If the sun was shining and it was a little warmer there would be people everywhere," said Kelly.

Since the window shoppers are opting to stay in the warmth of their own homes instead of bearing the cold merchants are working extra hard to sell their merchandise.

"We've been trying to spice things up and keep people knowing that you have to walk downtown but there's stuff going on inside," said Slemp.

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Cold? What about lack of money?

We have tough times in America these days! A lot of people out of work and a lot of people still losing their homes. Those that can manage are clamping the billfolds shut to simply maintain. Food costs have skyrocketed completely unchecked since the economy slid off the scale. You buy oranges for 89 cents EACH now, not 89 cents/lb. A bag of "ice" is 2.50 at convenience stores. I mean, C'mon! Are the retailers really this greedy?

Don't blame lack of Christmas sales on cold weather! If the people had the money to spend, a little chill won't hold them back. Notice the rash of restaurant closings? Prepare for more of the same and understand that the reason isn't location, not the cold, not the heat, not Afganistan, not Korea. The people simply have no money in their pockets, except for those that don't do and those that live here illegally and tax free.

Think about it!

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I don't think the cost of food going up is necessarily because of companies being greedy. What the media hasn't talked much about is inflation. When you print money, as the government has done, it devalues the dollar. The end result is your dollar doesn't buy as much, thus to get the same item, you have to pay more. Inflation will get higher if we keep printing money. A dollar that was worth a dollar last year may only be worth eighty cents this year, due to inflation. In order for a business to operate, it must raise the price of goods sold to make up for the loss in value of the dollar.

I do agree that unemployment is a big factor. Many people are holding onto their money. We don't know what the new year will bring. There is still alot of uncertainty out there.