While initial holiday sales predictions were robust in calling for as much as a 6 percent increase over last year, the initial verdict on overall sales could be far less than those original predictions. Still, I think it’s too early to write off this holiday shopping season as a bust. In fact, many reports are indicating that sales picked up toward the end of December following several weeks of sluggish sales after Black Friday. In the latest edition of my Retail Rap column, I take a deeper look at some of the holiday shopping trends and discuss why it might be too early to write the obituary for the 2012 holiday shopping season.
With all of the pre-holiday buzz and widely optimistic sales projections, anything other than a blockbuster 2012 holiday shopping season was bound to be a letdown. Few expected the numbers that came out just before Christmas: Both MasterCard and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that sales for the holiday season at that point were up just 0.7%. This was far below the robust predictions that many analysts and observers made before the shopping season was underway (most often between 3%-6%).
Check out the full article from my recurring column, Retail Rap, at Chain Store Age.