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A tough economy does not slow down shoppers

The holiday shopping season got off to a good start in West Hartford this weekend. 

Representatives from Westfarms Mall said that even in this troubled economy, mall retailers saw great numbers of customers and sales. The crowds started on Friday and lasted through the weekend.

"I wouldn't say we are surprised. We've been cautiously optimistic all year long that it would be a good holiday season for us. We had early indication, as I said, in early November traffic was picking up. Sales were increasing, so we're not really surprised," Westfarms general manager, Kevin Keenan, said.

Westfarms opened some new high-end stores to attract even more customers. Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton and the Nike store were all new this year. On Monday, new restaurant P.F. Chang's also opened its doors.

"Every customer is unique and what we do is try to bring in a variety of retailers that meet the needs of the customers in this market," Keenan said.

Shoppers said Westfarms did meet their needs with a variety of stores and great sales. Across town, Blue Back Square also saw several holiday shoppers.  Those shoppers said they preferred the outdoor shopping experience that Blue Back had to offer.

"It's more of a community feeling here in Blue Back Square. I just feel I get to know some of the store owners, it's more personable," said Susan Bigelow of West Hartford.

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