Quoted – Late holiday boost a welcome gift for retailers – Houston Chronicle

Late holiday boost a welcome gift for retailers

Last year was not one to remember for most retailers, but many of them at least had a solid holiday season finish.

A robust December helped boost overall sales for the 2009 holiday season —the months of November and December — to a higher-than- expected 1.8 percent increase over last year, according to figures released Thursday by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

While 1.8 percent may seem modest, it is a great improvement over the 2008 holiday season when sales fell by 5.6 percent.

Also Thursday, many chains released sales results for December, and among the chains showing year-over-year increases were Macy’s, Target, Costco, Sears and Nordstrom.

“Large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us and Amazon helped drive December sales by offering very good discounts,” said Scott Testa, professor of business at Cabrini College near Philadelphia.


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