SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The buying power of the public this holiday season may be coming with the sound of cash registers and the click of internet purchases in a way that could be hard to calculate.
Around Santa Barbara and Goleta, shoppers admitted their buying habits but also revealed they often bounce back and forth.
"I take pictures and I look on line . I am not going to lie," said Julianne Sweatt a shopper outside of Target.
She also got up before dawn to pick up early bird deals including $1 poinsettias at Home Depot. Some customers has "50 of them in their carts," she said.
Her mom Valerie said, her SUV was packed with purchases and that's after she had taken a load home already. "We only had one or two things we planned on and the rest we planned on because it was cool. I got more in the car and you should have seen what we emptied last night! "
A visitor from Long Beach, Mary Divinski said, " I enjoy the interaction with people, that to me, is the Christmas spirit, rather than doing the on line and push the button." She also said there's no reason to try to get an up front parking space, especially if you are going to a big store. " I can park way out in the boonies and walk because I enjoy walking and that kind of thing and less dents in my car !"
Downtown Santa Barbara shoppers were sprayed with some mid day rain. In the new Holiday pop up shop next to the vacant Macy's there were nine stores inside one storefront.
Cindy Canto, the Holiday Shop manager said, "there's so much more more and special unique items you'll find. They ask questions about what material it is, they want to know about the item , they want to make sure it is the right fit for whoever they are shopping for."
Sweatt said, "like buying in person because I touch things."
For Ben Williams with his young son, "a little bit of both 50-50 maybe. "
Nearby Cathy Bell from Torrance said she did a lot of shopping on line in the morning before heading out.
Analysts say while the busiest shopping days of the year may appear to be right now, there is also a surge in the final days before Christmas.