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Strong Sales Seen for Christmas, Halloween

Columbus, Ohio, Things are looking up for the 2005 holiday season, according to new research from Retail Forward. The firm’s fourth-quarter retail sales growth projection is 5.0% to 5.5%.

Retail Forward predicted that the key retail sectors known as GAFO (general merchandise, such as department stores, warehouse clubs, supercenters, apparel store and specialty stores) will see sales growth toward the lower end of that range. However, if home-improvement chains, catalog and on-line retailers are taken into account, GAFO will see sales growth closer to 5.5%, Retail Forward said. In last year’s holiday season, retail sales grew 5.5%.

Also contributing to the rosy picture painted for retail through the rest of 2005 is a new survey from the National Retail Federation. The NRF 2005 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch found that consumers are expected to spend $3.29 billion on Halloween this year. That’s up 5.4% from last year.

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