HolidayShoppingSeason

Retail Sales Inched Up in Dec. to End Record Year

Retail sales inched up by just 0.1% in December, but the gain was enough to lift sales to a record level for 2011. It marked the largest annual increase in more than a decade, and confirms that the economy was strengthening as the year ended.

Holiday Shopping Season Stronger Than Expected

The holiday shopping season is wrapping up to be bigger than anyone expected. Now, retailers are holding their breath and hoping consumers will keep spending in the final days before Christmas.

US Online Holiday Shopping Climbs 15% to $30.9 Billion

U.S. shoppers spent 15 percent more in online holiday buying compared to last year, after what may have been the busiest week of the season, said research firm comScore on Sunday. Shoppers have spent $30.9 billion online from Nov. 1 through Dec. 16, up from $26.9 billion at the same point last year, said the Reston, Va., company, which tracks Web use.

Top Retail Trade Group Upgrades Holiday Forecast

With the final Christmas countdown begun, the National Retail Federation has upgraded its holiday sales forecast, reflecting growing optimism that much more spending is to come. The NRF now expects holiday sales to rise 3.8% to a record $469.1 billion. That's up from its more modest 2.8 percent forecast made in early October, though it's hardly stellar.

Just in Time for the Holidays, a Bad Economic Mood

Americans say they feel worse about the economy than they have since the depths of the Great Recession. And it's a bad time for a bad mood because households are starting to make their holiday budgets. It might not be all doom and gloom, though. Sometimes what people say about the economy and how they behave are two different things.

Holiday Shopping: Self-Gifting Is On the Rise

Recession-scarred shoppers are tired of cutting back, and they're ready to give in to their pent up spending impulses, experts say. So after a few years of austerity, this holiday season, many people are going to be splurging a bit more on presents for themselves.

Retailers Shouldn't Expect Much Holiday Cheer

The holiday shopping season is looking pretty bleak for retailers. Best Buy recently announced that it plans to hire fewer holiday workers than it did last year, and now new data from the consumer research group NPD suggests that Best Buy won't be the only chain stuck in a holiday sales rut.

Retailers Already Trying to Fend Off the Grinch

It's hard not to sound like the Grinch these days: As we head into the holiday season, unemployment remains painfully high, and August 2011 saw a 47% increase in layoffs compared to last year, with no growth in hiring. Poverty stats are equally dismal, with the cost of living rising. Here's how retailers are responding.

Five retail traps to avoid this season

You know to protect your identity, respect your money, and pay with cash (to avoid falling deep in debt) this holiday season. But do you know how to...