Despite a strong economy, retail sales were good, not great, this holiday season. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Twas the season to shop.. online. That's where the action was this holiday season-online sales were up 37.4 percent year over year this past weekend ahead of Christmas.. according to IBM . But in-store sales were down close to 9 percent over the weekend according to analytics firm RetailNext.. in store traffic fell more than 10 percent.. even as retailers offered discounts on top of discounts. Jharonne Martis, Director of Consumer Research at Thomson Reuters: SOUNDBITE: JHARONNE MARTIS, DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, THOMSON REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Retailers right now are really trying to sell everything before the holiday season and when we look at companies like for example Gap they have had to really discount in order to move that inventory. The forecast right now for the month of December is slightly stronger than last year at 0.3 percent which suggests that Gap might be having a tough time. There haven't been huge blockbuster products to drive sales - but the iPhone 6 was a hot seller- as were toys based on Disney's animated movie "Frozen" and winter clothing.. with apparel picking up just a bit at the end of the season. and sparkle always sells. SOUNDBITE: JHARONNE MARTIS, DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, THOMSON REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: " Jewelry is a favorite right now for the holiday season and companies like Tiffany's are expected to smash expectations and smash the strongest numbers. Tiffany is a company that rarely discounts and their numbers are so strong especially here in New York so it suggests the consumers, tourists are coming into New York and are feeling good about opening their wallets. " Overall holiday sales looking to be relatively close to the National Retail Federation's forecast of a 4 percent rise. And the spending will continue after the holidays- when customers hit the stores to spend their gift cards.