While the Christmas shopping season did pick up over last year, it wasn’t as impressive as many had hoped.
Several attribute this to the fiscal cliff – the tax increases that came after the expiration of the Bush-era cuts Tuesday. With many Americans seeing the fiscal cliff ahead, economists speculated that they reeled in their spending.
Monty Swain, General Manager of K-Mart, said the season went as expected.
“It pretty much met my expectations,” Swain said.
He added that electronics were a hot seller this year, be it televisions, phones, tablets, or laptops.
“Anything electronic,” Swain said.
The number of gifts returned after the holiday has gone down as well, he said.
“They’re not as intense as they used to be,” Swain said.
Swain attributed this to many families being unable to meet on Christmas, and instead meeting before.
“They when they can,” he said.
Swain said something he hadn’t expected was the winter clothing sales. Initially winter clothing wasn’t selling well because the weather was warmer than normal for this time of year, he said.
However, with the weather cooling off, more of the items have been sold, Swain said.
“Not we’re seeing those items pick up,” he said.
Wal-Mart General Manager Chris Nelson said this season exceeded his expectations.
“The combination of a winter weather threat and two more calendar days of Christmas shopping compared to last year contributed to a strong sales performance and higher than normal traffic,” Nelson said.
He added he had also seen less returns this year.
“Our customer returns have been light compared to previous years. My thoughts are that Layaway helped customers organize their holiday shopping,” Nelson said.