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Report: Holiday Retail Sales Will be Modest


New York City As the economy continues to take its toll on the retail industry and consumer confidence, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) estimated that “traditional” holiday season retail sales will increase a mere 1.7% compared to last year.

ICSC also expects GAFO store sales—or those comprised of general merchandise, apparel, furniture and electronics and other stores, including hobby, book and sporting goods—will increase by 1.8% for the same time frame.

The holiday season, which is comprised of sales between November and December, “will be challenging for many of our nation’s retailers, but relatively good for discounters and wholesalers as consumers focus on basics and value,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist and director of research for the ICSC.

"This year's holiday-season spending will be more modest compared with recent years as the U.S. financial and economic crisis weighs on consumers’ willingness and ability to spend," said Niemira. "Not surprisingly, big-ticket purchases are likely to take a backseat to more traditional, basic and value-oriented goods and services.”

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