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ShopperTrak predicts holiday sales increase

Chicago - The holiday shopping season will be tighter this year and retailers are signaling even earlier promotions, but ShopperTrak still sees an uptick in sales ahead, projecting combined November/December sales to rise 2.4%.
Consumers "are not ready to splurge," said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. ShopperTrak expects sales increases in the key apparel and electronics categories even though it expects traffic to decline 1.0% at apparel stores and 1.2% at electronics and appliance stores.
"These trends are just another indication of how the consumer has changed," said Martin. "It is critical to remember that well over 90% of all retail sales in the United States will occur in brick-and-mortar stores."
Time will be of the essence in luring consumers. There are only 25 days between Black Friday (Nov. 19) and Christmas this year, compared to 31 days last year. In addition, Hanukkah falls on Nov. 28 - 11 days earlier than in 2012 - which could shift the early shopping schedule.
"Nobody can afford to procrastinate," said Martin. "Retailers must have their holiday marketing and operations ready to go when November begins, as consumers will be ready to take advantage of those deals."

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