SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) – Christmas is over, and the retail stores are not celebrating.

They were hoping for a healthy boost in Christmas-season sales this year over last, but preliminary indications are they’ll be disappointed, says Peter Gill of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

“The Illinois Retail Merchants Association was actually hoping for a 4.1 percent sales increase. It’s probably going to be lower than that,” he said, as preliminary numbers trickle in.

He says the stores will not be stuck with unwanted merchandise they’ll have to sell at a loss, though. “Retailers didn’t overdo it with their inventories this year, so even if sales don’t reach expectations they wouldn’t necessarily lose, they’ll simply not gain as much as expected,” he said.

Gill says the season got off to a good start Thanksgiving weekend, but that enthusiasm didn’t last the entire holiday season, as shoppers became cautious over economic concerns.

He says gift cards were big items this year, and they don’t count towards sales until they’re redeemed for merchandise, so this week can still be a productive one for store owners.


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