Holidays were hot for downtown retailers

"We saw a lot of men the last few days ... they outnumbered the females," Misita said.

She contended that men shoppers, who often like to do their shopping at the last minute, feel more comfortable at a smaller boutique store like Showoffs where they don't face large crowds and can receive more personal attention.

Misita said she expects that when she's finished tabulating her sales totals, she'll find her sales for the full year in 2010 were higher than in 2009.

MasterCard's SpendingPulse found that this holiday season, shoppers were clearly more confident to spend than they were in recent years, and they bought clothes, luxury goods, and did more shopping online.

"If last year's holiday story was about gaining some stability, this year's is about getting back to growth," Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for SpendingPulse, said in a news release. "The 2010 holiday period is categorized by strong year-over-year growth in apparel and continued strength in e-commerce. We also saw a noticeable return in spending in the larger ticket items, as exemplified by the solid growth in jewelry, luxury and even the furniture category."

Adam Rombel is editor-in-chief of The Central New York Business Journal, where this article originally appeared. Reach him at arombel@cnybj.com.

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