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Holiday Sales Beating Expectations

December 23rd, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida retailers are happy this Christmas season. Despite dire predictions, Mike Vasilinda tells us most retailers are going to be pleasantly surprised.

Shoppers are walking out the door with bags of merchandise. Few though will admit to spending more.

“[I’m spending] less. Don’t have as much to spend,” shopper Walt Maige said.

Cyril Gillion says he could spend more, but…

“The recession starts to make you realize the true value of Christmas,” Gillion said. “It’s not about gifts.”

But the Florida Retail Federation says this is going to be a greener Christmas than  most store owners had expected.

“It’s not going to be a world record breaker, but it’s certainly going to be better than most retailers expected and in some cases, much higher than most retailers expected,” Rick McAllister, with the Florida Retail Federation, said.

The evidence is showing up in the state treasury.

State tax collections have been consistently exceeding expectations. In November alone, sales taxes were 18 million dollars over the estimate.

Many retail organizations reduced inventories this year. And that could make after Christmas deals hard to come by.

“Boy, if there’s anything left next week it’s going to be sold. So there will be tremendous discounts. Whatever inventory that’s left after Christmas eve will be at a real bargain rate,” McAllister said.

So despite being a year most would like to forget, 2009 is closing the decade with more jingle than expected.

Retailers had originally expected about a two percent increase over last years dismal Christmas sales. They believe the final figure will be in the four to five percent range

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