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Late Retail Shoppers Increase December Sales
Dec 30, 2011
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Holiday shoppers in the United States, in the week before Christmas and the day after Christmas, boosted retail sales and probably exceeded the retail sales of the same period in 2010, according to ShopperTrak.

The firm, which tracks retail and mall foot-traffic, said consumers spent about $44 billion in GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, and accessories) retail sales in the week ending Dec. 24, up 37.8% over the previous week and a 14.8% gain for the same week in 2010. Foot traffic was also high, increasing 32.4% from the previous week. The firm reported month-to-date figures were up 4.7% over December 2010.

"With good weather in most of the country and the season coming to a close, procrastinators and bargain hunters hit the stores and gave retailers the sales lift they needed to outpace last year,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin.

The firm said a late holiday shopping surge is not uncommon, and in 2010 24.4% of total GAFO holiday season (November and December) retail sales took place in the 10 days before Christmas.

The day after Christmas was a Monday, for the first time in six years, which helped push traffic on December 26, with shoppers exchanging items and looking for mark-downs.

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