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New York Times: Growth in sales for holiday period weakest in years

Constance Hays reports on the weak holiday shopping season this year.

The idea that even Wal-Mart, the biggest success story in retailing in recent years, was struggling was taken as a sign of wider problems. “This confirms our previous thoughts that holiday sales could be the worst in a decade,” Deborah Weinswig, a retail analyst for Salomon Smith Barney, wrote in a note to investors after the Wal-Mart announcement.

Separately, a study released today by ForeSee Results shows that although more than half of online holiday shoppers were highly satisfied with their online experience this year, the still nascent e-retail industry earned an overall score of 69 out of a possible 100 points (or a grade of “C”), a strong message from consumers that retailers need to do more to keep them coming back.

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