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Retailers expect a surge in sales this weekend

Boxed up child motorized ATV in trunk of car
Jenn Forman Orth
Holiday shoppers will be making the rounds this weekend.

Michigan retailers were optimistic that this would be a better holiday shopping season than they’ve had the last few years.

And so far, those expectations appear to be warranted.

The National Retail Federation upped its prediction for holiday sales from a 2.3% increase to a 3.3% increase over last year.Another retail industry group is predicting a 4% jump.

It’s too early for Michigan numbers, but Tom Scott with the Michigan Retailers Association says all signs point to a big day tomorrow

"There’s so much hoopla about the day after Thanksgiving as being the biggest shopping day of the year. In reality, the biggest shopping day is usually the Saturday before Christmas."

Scott says holiday shoppers can expect discounts of 25% to 50% in many stores this weekend.

So how big is the bump for stores? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that retail sales by the nation's department stores in December of 2009 added up to $27.4 billion. Those December sales represented a 45% jump from the previous month in 2009 (when retail sales amounted to $18.9 billion).

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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