We'll shop for more gifts during 2010, according to Deloitte.

POTTSTOWN PA – Here’s good news sure to warm the hearts of merchants across Limerick (PA) and Lower Pottsgrove Townships and the boroughs of Royersford and Pottstown: a new survey says shoppers in the greater Philadelphia area this year will outspend their national counterparts on holiday gifts.

There is, however, another shoe to drop. The same survey says greater Philadelphia residents will spend less on the holidays overall, even if the gifts they buy are pricier.

Shoppers across the region are expected to spend an average of $530 on gifts during 2010, compared to a national average of $466, according to an annual holiday survey by the business consulting firm of Deloitte and Touche. Its conclusions were the subject of an article Monday (Nov. 22, 2010) in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

They’ll also buy more gifts, 18.6 gifts to be exact, compared to the national average of 16.8 gifts.

Regional residents are cautious of overspending, though, the study noted. Consequently, for holiday spending overall, they will shell out a little less – $1,091 this season – than the national average of $1,160.

Need motivation to start shopping? Remember …

  • At Coventry Mall in North Coventry PA: Although it’s closed Thanksgiving Day, mall stores will be open on Black Friday (Nov. 26) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday (Nov. 27) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday (Nov. 28) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. See its calendar of other holiday hours here.
  • At Upland Square shopping center in West Pottsgrove PA: Days and hours will vary by store. Check the hours for its major tenants, Target, Giant and Best Buy.
  • At Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick PA: Some stores will open as early as 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night (Nov. 25); others will open at 10 p.m., and still others at 11 p.m. Every store in the outlet center will be open at midnight on Black Friday, and remain open until 10 p.m. Then, Saturday hours will run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Patronize small business owners too. Many local retailers in Limerick and downtown Royersford are advertising terrific buys, and some items they carry won’t be found at bigger stores.