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ShopperTrak forecasts 3.3% gain in holiday sales

Chicago - Traffic and sales should both rise during the November/December holiday shopping period this year, according to a projection from retail technology firm ShopperTrak.
The company expects sales to rise 3.3% and traffic to grow 2.8% during the period.
"Retailers have reason to be optimistic about this season. It's clear that foot traffic is increasing and month-over-month sales continue to be better than expected," said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. "In fact, our shopper visit data tell us that consumers are visiting more stores than last year. This influx of traffic will present opportunities for retailers to convert these visitors into buyers, especially with the extended holiday shopping season."
An early Hanukkah (Dec. 8) should lift sales earlier than last year, as should a longer shopping period between Black Friday and Christmas, said ShopperTrak.
"The calendar provides retailers unusual opportunities for success this season," said Martin, "but store managers will need to understand how the 2012 calendar differentiates this holiday season from past seasons. Keeping stores open for longer hours across an extended time between holidays adds to operating costs. Managers need to plan optimal staffing, scheduling, marketing and advertising with the calendar to achieve best results."

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