Although fresh data on the holiday shopping season won’t be available until after Christmas, analysts expect growth from last year to be modest.
Several factors have dampened shoppers’ spirits, including fears that the economy could fall off the “fiscal cliff,” triggering tax increases and spending cuts early next year.
Online sales rose just 8.4 percent to $48 billion from Oct. 28 through Saturday, according to a measure by MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse. That is below the online sales growth of between 15 percent to 17 percent seen in the prior 18 months.
Marshal Cohen, chief research analyst at the market research firm NPD Inc., said retailers will have to be more aggressive in the days after Christmas to get shoppers to spend. That could mean some stores will slash prices by as much as 80 percent to make shoppers believe the sales are a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”The Associated Press