DENVER (CBS4) – Americans were out spending more in July. With retail sales up .8 percent, it was the largest jump in five months and followed a decline in June.

Much in the increase came on cars and keeping homes cool. Personal incomes were also up by point .3 percent. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

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Some consumers say they find themselves spending more money and time in certain stores and less in others. It might be because of the store’s staff. A new study reveals six ways stores are trying to keep shoppers in their store longer.

CBS4 money saver Suzanne McCarroll did some shopping to see how effective and how prevalent the stores strategies are.

“When you walk in the door of Tony’s Market there is always something good here to sample,” McCarroll said.

Computer stores often have equipment out to demo. They are just some examples of what stores are doing to try to compete with online shopping. Stores are trying to make the shopping experience more inviting and engaging to the customer.

Who would think a children’s 20-year-old rocking horse would be a good marketing tool for The Marketplace?

“They’re so friendly about kids being in the store, which is not always true when you have little ones,” a shopper said. “You can stay longer. And the longer you’re in, the more adorable things you see.”

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That’s one of six ways stores encourage customers to buy more. In-store demonstrations and videos are the No. 1 way to keep customers shopping. At the Wild At Heart store there are often classes to teach jewelry making.

No. 2 on the list is engaging customers’ senses. That can be with brightly-colored displays or tasty treats to sample.

No. 3 is stocking stores with surprising finds and frequently changing merchandise.

No. 4 is improving customer service.

No. 5 is making the most of customers’ downtime.

No. 6 is catching the customer on their way out — perhaps offering a coupon at the register.

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If you have a money saving tip that you would like Suzanne to check out, call the money saver tipline at (303) 863-tips (8477) or email her at Also visit the money saver section for more stories about saving money for you and your family.