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Twas the day before the day before Christmas (and Michigan retailers are happy)

What's under your tree?
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
What's under your tree?

 This is turning into a very merry holiday shopping season for Michigan retailers.   

 The hard numbers are still coming in, but it appears early optimism for a strong Christmas shopping season is panning out.   

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association.    He says a steady stream of customers have been shopping at Michigan stores since Thanksgiving.    Scott says that’s meant there’s been less pressure on retailers to slash prices.  

"There’s still been some really good bargains out there.  But it just hasn’t been…cut it to shreds to get people in and buying something," says Scott.   

Nationwide, there are predictions that holiday season sales will be up by 6.5%.    A big part of that comes from the rise of online sales.   But traditional brick and mortar stores are expected to post between a three and four percent increase in sales.  

Ironically, a day that is usually one of the biggest shopping days of the year is expected to see sales fall far below par.   The MRA's Tom Scott says the Saturday before Christmas is usually very hectic.   But probably less so this year.  

“Even though the Saturday before Christmas is usually one of the biggest shopping days of the year,  it being Christmas eve (this year) it’s going to be shortened," says Scott, "But people will be out shopping.  At least til noon…if not a little bit after that." 

But Michigan retailers can expect brisk business starting Monday, when the after Christmas sales start.  

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.