CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Christmas Eve may not be the busiest shopping day of the 2017 holiday season.

Bridget Lambert, president of the West Virginia Retailers Association, said they typically see the heaviest traffic on Dec. 24, but this year Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday.

“It may be an interesting dynamic. Saturday could actually be one of the busier shopping days for 2017,” Lambert said.

So far, holiday sales are up in the Mountain State compared to last year at this time.

“It appears that the economy or just the consumers’ outlook on the economy is bringing them out to shop more,” Lambert said.

The average projection that consumers will spend this season is about $957, which is up from $935 in 2016, according to the association.

Lambert is advising shoppers to make their online orders early on this week, so they will receive their packages in time for Christmas.

“This will be the last week for people to take advantage of online shipping for free and there’s also shipping deadlines coming up this week,” she said. “If you’re ordering online, be aware that the time to do that is this week or you won’t be getting your holiday packages.”

Retailers are busy this week promoting deals for last minute shoppers. Discounted merchandise will be available through this weekend. Lambert predicts stores will be busy even after Christmas.

“The week after Christmas a lot of people just want to go out and spend their gift cards, so we’re seeing tremendous traffic in the stores immediately following Christmas Day,” she said.

Online shopping is also becoming more popular. Lambert said this past Cyber Monday was “the largest online shopping day that the retail industry has ever had.”

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