It Was A Dismal Holiday Season For Retailers — And Here’s Why

Due to the bad weather and worries about the fiscal cliff, national retail sales grew at the slowest pace since 2008.

The Financial Times reports that according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a service that analyzes retail sales, November and December sales only grew 0.7 percent. Analysts expected a three to four percent increase, and for context, a four percent increase is considered “healthy”. Last year, sales in the same time period rose between four and five percent.

Hurricane Sandy, the fiscal cliff, and the Newtown massacre are believed to have distracted consumers this season, causing them to spend less during the holidays. The last two months of the year are important for many retailers, accounting for up to 40 percent of profits, and despite year-end deals, consumers just didn’t shop.

Sorry, retailers, maybe next year.

[FT]

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