ASHWAUBENON, Wis. — Wednesdays are busy at Powers Comics and Collectibles — that’s the day when the new books come in.

But the store has been consistently busy for the past year, and it’s not something Jeremiah Johnson sees slowing down through the holidays.

What You Need To Know

  • The National Retail Federation forecasts Americans will spend between $843 Million and $859 Billion this holiday season

  • Several Wisconsin retailers say sales have been good this year and its a trend they expect to continue into the holidays

  • Shoppers are “embracing” an earlier start to shopping​

“Definitely busier,” he said.“I think that now more people are vaccinated, too, we’ll see more people comfortable coming out. I expect it to be busier.”

So does the National Retail Federation, which issued its annual holiday forecast Wednesday morning.

It expects American consumers to spend between $843 and $859 billion dollars over the last two months of the year. That’s a roughly 9 to 11 percent increase over 2020.

It’s also a record figure, according to the organization.

The forecast comes as some parts of the global supply chain are twisted. That could mean some items are harder to find this holiday season.

That has Derek Reiter of Green Bay planning to start his shopping earlier.

“I think there’s going to be a shortage of different things and they’ve already been saying, ‘Buy those Christmas gifts now so Santa can show up,’” he said.

Like the retail federation, he expects sales figures will be up.

“I think there are a lot of people who are getting ready and excited for the holiday seasons because they’ve been cooped up a little bit,” Reiter said. “If they’re going to do something, they’re going to do something nice for themselves or their family and I think spending is going to be significantly up.”

Johnson says part of what’s driving more business at Powers Comics is a renewed interest in the hobby.

“I’m floored at how many new people I see,” he said. We have so many regular customers … but it’s just constantly new people.”

He’s looking forward to welcoming those people into the store over the next two months, which traditionally include some big sales days and sales figures.

“December is definitely the biggest month for us,” he said.