WUOMFM

'Twas the day after Christmas

Dec 26, 2017

Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners are optimistic their after-Christmas sales will be as strong as pre-holiday sales have been this year. 

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says the growth of gift cards as presents has boosted post-holiday sales. 

"They often don't spend just what the gift card is worth," says Holland. "They are buying more than that."

Anecdotally, retailers say this has been a very good holiday shopping season. But we won't know how good until major retailers report their fourth quarter numbers next year. 

The day after Christmas is traditionally a busy shopping day. 

Shoppers who are feeling good about the economy and spending more than expected on items like kitchen gadgets, toys and coats could make this the best holiday season in several years. 

That's good news for retailers, some of which have had reasons of late to be merry. But there's no question that stores need to keep adapting to how people shop as spending moves online. Customer sentiment could shift again based on how they feel the tax overhaul is affecting them. Tax cuts mean some shoppers may have more money in their pockets, but they could opt to save instead of spend it.

Experts have issued rosy forecasts for the season. Shoppers seem to be in the mood as unemployment is at a 17-year low and consumer sentiment has reached its highest level since 2000.  

Craig Johnson, president of retail consulting group Consumer Growth Partners, says shoppers are spending at a pace not seen since the Great Recession. Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation, predicts retail sales will meet or exceed the trade group's holiday forecast. That could mark the best performance since 2014. And Tom McGee, CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, believes mall traffic and sales were higher than last year as shoppers bought electronics, clothing and toys.