New Store/Holiday Sales

Bonita Lakes Mall in Meridian is preparing for a new addition.
Although Halloween is yet to arrive, there are high hopes for a national chain store that is set to open in the mall just in time for Christmas. Toys 'R' Us Express is a seasonal store that is set to open this Friday and close in mid-January.

Business for both national and local retailers during the holidays significantly boost sales tax revenues for the city of Meridian. In fact, according to the city's chief financial officer, December is the highest grossing month for collections.

"For example, on the average, if you take the other 11 months it averages $1.1 million or $1.2 million in some months, but for that month of December it's usually $1.3 million plus, or even $1.4 million. So, it is a big month compared to the other months," says Ed Skipper.

Excited about the holidays and what they will bring, Mayor Percy Bland says plans are already in place to increase police presence throughout the city during that period.

"We're going to put more resources on the ground at that time. Of course, you're going to have a lot more activity in that area. They should feel safe at our malls; they should feel safe during Thanksgiving and Christmas times, and that's what we're going to try to have in place for the citizens and also for the other people who come from outside the city to shop here."