After-Christmas sales to boost holiday retail numbers
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- The International Council of Shopping Centers reported that retail sales for the week ending December 22, were up just 0.7 percent, but insisted that its 3 percent forecast for the whole holiday season would eventually be reached due to gift card purchases.
Gift card usage isn't factored in until the cards are used, which ICSC maintains will contribute significantly to the overall total. Always a popular stocking-stuffer, according to "Consumer Reports," gift cards are also the most popular last-minute gift.
"Shoppers returning to The Woodlands Mall to make merchandise returns, will almost always take advantage of the after-Christmas sales, and spend more than their merchandise is being exchanged for," said Noemi Cortez, the Marketing Manager for The Woodlands Mall. "Taking into account gift card purchases, The Woodlands Mall is on track to have one of its best years ever."
The customary 'walk-about' Cortez makes on significant shopping days, found that merchants at the mall experienced greater sales the day after Christmas than on 'Black Friday' after Thanksgiving, which is typically the busiest shopping day of the year.
"It started out slow, but by midday the mall was packed and the parking lot was full," said Cortez.
This mirrored what one of the largest malls in the country experienced. The King of Prussia Mall located outside of Philadelphia, reported that the day was pleasantly busy until the noon hour, and then it was complete chaos.
"It does appear that the consumers are optimistic about the economy," said Cortez. "Our merchants have done their part with attractive price points and aggressive sales, now we just need our elected officials to do their job."