Buoyed by a 14.7 percent increase in sales in the first three quarters of 1990, the manager of the Cottonwood Mall is optimistic about the coming Christmas shopping season.

Jeff Machin said, "We continue to buck national trend reports on flat or declining retail sales. In fact, we are very optimistic about heading into the busy Christmas season."Machin said growth at the mall continues with the addition of 15 new stores since Aug. 1.