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Holiday Retail Sales Growth Was Better Than Expected - La Times

The trade group estimates a 4.1% increase to $616.9 billion. But the ShopperTrak data suggest Americans are more encouraged by the improving economy, including a rebounding job market and lower gas prices. Even with the positive economic news, though, stores were concerned that shoppers would remain tightfisted during the holiday shopping season, which can account for an average of 20% of the industry's annual sales. Many stores started discounting heavily on holiday merchandise as early as Halloween to help spur spending. They also pulled some deals on the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday earlier, resulting in the declining importance of a single day within the season.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-holiday-sales-20150108-story.html?track=rss

Holiday Lights display put away until next season - News - The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN

email Comment Posted Jan. 9, 2015 @ 6:00 am Sleepy Eye, Minn. Social News The Sportsmens Park light show in Sleepy Eye has been put away until next holiday season. Several volunteers gathered Thursday to tear down the Holiday Lights in Motion display. The illuminated array of holiday displays ranged from the religious to the secular; a Santa scene and an elaborate Nativity panorama; even a waving snowman. Shari Hittesdorf, co-founder of the holiday spectacle, said although the display is over for the year, the work is not. We definitely accomplished what we wanted to, which was to generate interest and hopefully the support will be there in the future, Hittesdorf commented. We are already looking at next year and setting priorities and financial goals. In addition, the displays will be worked on over the summer to make sure every light is working for next season, fundraising efforts will be ramped up, some of the displays for the Dick Ginn display will be worked on and more planning for the future will take place. Tentatively, next year's financial goal is somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000 to expand like we want to, Hittesdorf explained.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.sleepyeyenews.com/article/20150109/NEWS/150109790/-1/news

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