Early December same-store sales slow
December 5, 2006,
New York -- Waiting for deeper discounts to come -- and digging out from snowstorms that shut down parts of the Midwest -- consumers stayed away from the malls during the first week of December, pushing same-store retail sales well beneath plan.
"Retailers described the week as a lull that began the weekend after what was for some a hectic post-Thanksgiving surge, but noted that the pause was typical of the first week of December, and would likely be followed by a steady buildup toward Christmas," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "Moreover, sales were hurt by a Midwest snowstorm, which brought lighter foot traffic. Thousands of homes and businesses were without power following the first big Midwest snowstorm of the season."
On the plus side, "The month contains one additional pre-Christmas shopping day over last year, a positive impact for most retailers," said Levis. On the downside, she added, "Consumers have learned to defer holiday shopping until the last minute in order to exploit merchant markdowns."
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