Retailers got a gift of their own this holiday season — solid sales. Spending at online retailers jumped 15% to a record $37.2 billion during the November-December holiday shopping season, comScore reported. For many retailers, Christmas bells continued to ring even after the holiday had passed. Mild weather, more gift card redemptions and a post-holiday holiday on Monday helped boost sales in the final week of December, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That strength likely helped boost retailers’ December sales at stores open at least a year by 4% to 4.5%, the trade group said. It had previously forecast a gain of 3.5% to 4%. Big retailers are set to release their own figures for the month on Thursday. Early indicators have shown holiday sales to be solid this year, helped by deep discounts and extended shopping hours. In the final week of December, retail sales rose 5.3% from the prior year, according to the ICSC and Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. That was its strongest year-over-year gain in about a year and a half. From the prior week, the index rose 1.2%. Another retail trade organization, the National Retail Federation, also recently raised its… Read full this story
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