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Shoppers spent more in last week of holiday season

CHICAGO - CHICAGO (AP) — Shoppers spent heavily during the week ended Saturday, both before and after Christmas, after a snow storm during the last weekend of the holiday shopping season led to pent-up demand.

Retail sales rose 8.8 percent during the week ending Dec. 26, according to research firm ShopperTrak. Meanwhile, traffic edged down 1 percent compared with a year ago.

On the day after Christmas, consumers spent $7.9 billion, up from $7.8 billion on the same day last year. That was the second biggest sales day of the season after "Black Friday," or the Friday after Thanksgiving, when shoppers spent $10.66 billion.

ShopperTrak said four of the top seven performing traffic days this holiday season occurred during the week ending Saturday, including Monday, Dec. 21 to Wednesday, Dec. 23, and Dec. 26 itself.

ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin said pent-up demand following winter storms the weekend of Dec. 19 led to strong demand during the Christmas week.

"Although traffic was slightly off for the week compared to last year, consumers purchased more with fewer trips, driving sales and assuredly pushing retailers into the black this holiday season," he said.

ShopperTrak continues to estimate sales rose 1.6 percent during the holiday season.

The firm, based in Chicago, tracks total retail sales at more than 50,000 outlets.


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