Credit card companies are reporting an uptick in retail sales using credit cards even as some analysts and economists are forecasting holiday sales as the same as last year or slightly worse (New York Times, Nov. 4, 2009) Still, for October, apparels sales were up 3.4 percent compared to a year ago, luxury goods rose 6.5 percent, jewelry 7.2 percent, with an increase in e-commerce to 18.7 percent. Reuters reports that economic forecaster Forrester Research predicts online sales to increase 8 percent this holiday season.
One thing we've noticed among some regional antique dealers is that less of them seem to have ignored the Christmas season as has been the trade's bane in the past. Some shops are even instituting Holiday layaway plans! Is the antique trade in the Midwest finally getting a clue?