ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The season of giving is also the season of shopping.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) projects this year's holiday sales will rise 3.6 percent over last year.
But much of the spending isn't done in person.
56 percent of consumers are taking their business to the internet.
"I prefer shopping online," said holiday shopper Samiya McGee. "Because online you have more of a variety of stuff, and it's cheaper."
Samiya did take the time out of her Monday evening to shop at the Albany Mall.
As she and her mom sifted through clothes and potential gifts at Rue 21, she realized the importance of being in-person.
"The difference is sometimes I like going to the actual store so I can try on the clothes," said Samiya.
It's too early to be considered last-minute shopping, yet too late for comfort.
Department stores like Target are also seeing an influx of shoppers.
"As we get closer to Christmas, it's more about the fun atmosphere," said assistant store manager Andrew Petersen. "There's some last-minute shopping, but most of it is they're finding that last gift that's just the perfect one they see pop out at them."
Increased traffic means increased help. The NRF forecast more than 600 thousand new holiday positions in 2016.
Some are temporary, but if you're like Petersen it could lead to a career.
13 years ago he was a seasonal hire at Target. He has moved up through the ranks ever since.
"With our seasonal hires, we give you a trial run," said Petersen. "If you're doing phenomenal, we're going to keep you. We're going to find ways to keep you in our schedule."