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Holiday shoppers may see big discounts soon

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[December 15, 2012]  NEW YORK (AP) -- If shoppers don't show up in stores soon, more 70 percent off sale signs will.

After a promising start to the holiday shopping season over the Thanksgiving weekend, sales have slowed. That puts pressure on stores, which had been offering fewer discounts this season than they did last year, to step up promotions.

Holiday sales are up 2.2 percent to $659 billion through Saturday, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks spending. The modest increase means sales for rest of the season will be crucial for stores, which get as much as 40 percent of their annual sales in November and December. With about a week and a half left until Christmas, stores have a ways to go in order to reach ShopperTrak's forecast of a 3.3 percent rise for the season.

[Associated Press; By MAE ANDERSON]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.






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