Retailers Worry About Holiday Sales

Friday, November 9th 2007, 6:15 am
By: News On 6

The countdown to the holiday shopping season is underway across Oklahoma. The unofficial start to the season kicks off in two weeks. For many Oklahoma retailers, getting shoppers into their stores could be tough this year. Some are already feeling the pinch, thanks to rising gasoline prices and the slumping housing market.

Many retailers have just reported their worst October in more than 10 years. The GAP, which is the largest clothing retailer in the country, saw business drop off by 8% in October. Experts say empty aisles and idle cashiers may be the norm this year.

Retailers say slashing prices may be the only way to get people into stores.

"This is what I call hesitation holiday. This is when the consumer is not going to rush into stores to buy unless the prices are so attractive that they can't resist," said retail analyst Marshall Cohen.

Shoppers on the other hand, say they plan on waiting.

"We'll wait till the last minute, see what we really need, what we can really afford," said shopper Bill Robinson.

Economists say another real problem for consumers is a lack of confidence in the economy. In addition, the U.S. dollar is weak right now, which some say could lead to a recession in the U.S. All this adds up to what could be one very difficult year for retailers across Oklahoma and the rest of the U.S.

Related story:

11/8/2007 Retailers Report Sluggish Sales In October