Wall Street Journal recognizes Wausau as trendsetting city for shopping in America

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WAUSAU,Wis.(WSAW)-- Wausau was recognized as a trendsetting city in the Wall Street Journal Monday for the way people shop in America. While there has been an increase in online shopping, small businesses in Wausau's downtown area have been affected.

According to the Census Bureau, spending is about 30 percent more than state and national averages. While people aren't spending their money at the Wausau Center Mall, Elizabeth Brodek, executive director of the River District said downtown shopping boutiques have continued to thrive.

"I think in general we see shopping trends inching toward the collective, the unique, the local, anything you cant find online," said Brodek.

"You know you don't really hear rural Midwest setting a trend for something or on the cutting edge of something like this especially in retail."

Randy Verhasselt is the owner of Evolution in Design. He said many of his customers continue coming back for the experience and not just the items he sells in his store.

"We just really noticed this year, in particular, peoples attitudes have really been different. People really want to shop local, downtown and it's really forefront in their thinking," explained Verhasselt.

The article also recognized Wausau as having the highest percentage of middle class households, with families of three bringing in an annual income between $42,000-$125,000.