MERIDIAN -- The start of the holiday shopping season is two weeks away and many national retailers are predicting a slow season. But, the general manager of the fast-growing Village at Meridian is predicting the opposite for his stores.
Major retailers Walmart and Kohl's just posted disappointing quarters, thanks to slow job growth and higher payroll taxes. Their managers tell NBC News that's likely to continue through the holiday shopping season unless they get really aggressive with marketing and pricing.
The new Village at Meridian is already getting aggressive in bringing in a bunch of new shops.
There are more than a dozen new stores or restaurants that just opened, or are opening soon.
You'll see places like See's Candies, Charming Charlie, Republic of Couture, and even a small ice-skating rink.
General Manager Hugh Crawford says all that is getting, and will continue to get people not just coming in, but coming back.
"People are coming out to see us for the first time every day, as well as repeated," said Crawford. "I talked to a customer last night, she's already been to Kona Grill four times and Yard House twice, and has seen four movies. People are finding and making this their habit. This is where they're coming. It's close. It's convenient, and it's providing people with the entertainment experience they've been looking for."
Crawford also says all that 'new-ness' will help the Village at Meridian shops avoid a down holiday shopping season that others are predicting.
"This is the first year. People are going to be coming here to experience what's new," said Crawford. "Our power center, which is adjacent to us, Gordman's, Marshall's, Toys R Us, they're all expecting good years. They're benefiting from the new customer coming, because of what we've opened in our new lifestyle south phase. They've seen just incredible growth in the past month that we've been open. So, we're expecting to see that through the holiday season."
Meridian city leaders certainly hope that's the case. The Village has already brought plenty of new business and commerce to a spot that was a few years ago, an empty field.
Also, the ice-skating rink will open Saturday at 10 a.m. It's not large but Crawford says it's big enough to get the kids out on.