Retailers optimistic about critical shopping weekend
Tim Tressler / Dayton Daily News
This weekend is a critical time for retailers even as poor weather conditions could hamper shoppers’ plans.
But retailers and analysts said Friday they remain optimistic that holiday-season sales will show at least a modest increase over last year.
Jeff Green, a retail analyst, said he anticipates holiday retail sales will range from flat to up to 2 percent over a year ago. Losing a weekend during the shopping season because Christmas is on a Saturday will dampen this year’s results, as will high unemployment, he said.
The Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. has seen strong foot traffic this season, said David Duebber, general manager. The number of shoppers at the mall in November rose 4 percent over last year and remains up in December, he said.
Anchor tenants at the mall have told Duebber they are seeing strong sales, in part because of aggressive promotional selling, he said.
“It’s a good time for shoppers right now,” he said.
Nationally, the number of consumers shopping over the past weekend reached 74.5 percent, according to the Christmas Shopping Survey by Charleston, S.C.-based America’s Research Group and UBS. More than 70 percent of those surveyed between Dec. 3 and Dec. 5 said they will not finish their shopping until the last four days before Christmas.