29 Dec 2010

Blizzards hit post-Christmas sales

12:17 pm on 29 December 2010

Snowstorms have deterred shoppers at post-Christmas sales in the northeast of the United States. However, retailers in the rest of the country are anticipating their highest sales in three years.

Blizzards caused shopping malls in several states to close early on Boxing Day, usually one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

The BBC reports many shoppers also heeded warnings to stay home and off the roads.

Mall operator Taubman Centers Inc said a number of shopping centres it operates saw light traffic on Sunday because of the storm.

However, some analysts expect the storms will boost online sales.

During the week of Christmas, analysts at IBM Coremetrics reported that online spending had increased 16% over 2009. The average cost of online orders rose 13%.

Online retailer Amazon.com announced on Monday that it had record e-book sales this holiday season.

In areas not affected by the blizzards, retail demand remained healthy after Christmas.

The country's biggest shopping centre in Minnesota, the Mall of America, expected an 8% rise in sales over last year.