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East Coast Storm Could Hinder Holiday Sales

New York – A major snow storm is
expected to blanket much of the East Coast on the final shopping weekend before

The storm could have a significant impact on total fourth-quarter
sales, as consumers on average had completed only 46.7 percent of their holiday
shopping by the second week of December, surveys show.

What’s more, nearly 42 million people (19.1 percent) had not even
started their shopping by mid-month, according to the poll by BIGresearch and
the National Retail Federation (NRF), as consumers wait out dealers for
expected last-minute bargains.

Indeed, a separate study by American Express shows that 31
percent of procrastinators are holding out for the best deals, and that 21
percent of all shoppers plan to wait until next week to complete their holiday

According to NRF, 22 percent of procrastinators said they will
shop electronics stores, and 38 percent said they will also shop online.

To date, 39.7 percent of all shoppers have purchased
entertainment software, video games and books as gifts, and 21.8 percent selected
CE products, NRF said.

The retail trade association is forecasting a 1 percent decline
in total holiday sales from last year.