Santa ushers in shopping season, which is on the rise, says Center City District

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Santa Claus gave his reindeer the day off on Friday and opted for SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line to help shoppers usher in the holiday season. 

And on this Black Friday, Center City District officials say the retail scene has continued to expand, creating more than $1 billion in retail demand annually.

With the holiday shopping season now underway, the District says there are 3,266 active Center City storefronts, consisting of 978 retail stores, 1,058 eating and drinking establishments, and 1,230 service providers.

“The footprint of retail in Center City has really expanded,” Vice President of Marketing and Communications Michelle Shannon said, “which is fortunate because we were lacking over on the east side of town between City Hall and Independence Hall, where we have a lot of convention and tourist traffic.”

The opening of East Market last year and the Fashion District in September added new retail square footage at a time when a lot of retail is shuttering, she added. Two more projects are currently under construction and another is in the pipeline, which will add an additional 1.2 million square feet of retail in the next few years.

The Center City District added that all of the historic and holiday attractions in Center City make seasonal shopping a unique experience — evident by all the holiday characters.

Mrs. Claus and Buddy the Elf joined Santa at the 15th Street Station to the delight of the crowd of consumers before they hit the stores.

“You can come skate at Dilworth Park, you can stop and have a drink, warm up, and then go out shopping again,” Shannon suggested.