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Michigan store owners expect better holiday sales

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Two-thirds of Michigan retailers are expecting to see their sales increase this holiday season.

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association.

He says on average retailers expect holiday sales will be up about 2% this year. 

Scott says most retailers point to an improving Michigan economy.

“You know we got lower unemployment.  We got lower gas prices.  We got higher consumer confidence,” says Scott, “all that really adds up to what should be a good season.”

Scott cautions severe winter weather during one of the four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas could negatively affect sales.

Of course, one way to avoid snowy mall parking lots is to stay home and shop online. 

Patricia Huddleston is an advertising and public relations professor at Michigan State University. 

She’s predicting a 16% increase in online holiday shopping this year. 

Huddleston says the growth of online sales is altering not only the behavior of shoppers, but also retailers, some of whom are giving online buyers incentives to pick up their purchases at a brick & mortar store.

“They’re hoping this Christmas…to bring in more store traffic than if the consumer was just shopping online,” says Huddleston.

Despite the growth of online shopping, only about 12% of holiday presents will be bought with the click of a mouse.

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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