Business
3:43 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Final weeks of shopping rang up retail sales

Retailers across New York State are celebrating what is being deemed a successful holiday shopping season.  

The Retail Council of New York State is awarding the season an "A -minus"  in response to the strong finale. 

Rebecca Marion Flach is with the Retail Council.  She said it has been a "fantastic" season for retailers.

Eighty percent of retailers polled by the Retail Council of New York State said their week-before-Christmas sales were better than or the same as their sales during the same week in 2010. Armed with gift cards, shoppers hit stores again on Monday, Dec. 26 buoying after-Christmas sales. Sixty-five percent of participating merchants said their after-Christmas sales to date have been better than or the same as their sales for the same time period in 2010.

"The average shopper had completed less than 50 percent of his gift buying by mid-December so we had a hunch retailers would have a robust week before Christmas," said Retail Council President and Chief Executive Officer James R. Sherin. "Couple this news with the start of Hanukkah on Dec. 20, extra shopping time with Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday and cold, but clear weather and you have the makings for great sales in the crucial days leading up to Christmas."

The Retail Council says in the final days before Christmas the biggest purchases were for gift cards and electronics. 

"We think that consumers saved their pennies and did a lot of shopping not just for family and friends during the holidays season, but for themselves as well, stocking up things that they needed, in addition to pent-up demand,certainly weather played a factor. We've great weather statewide about of a major snowstorm to keep people from shopping," said
Flach.

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