The fiscal cliff's impact on holiday sales - | WBTV Charlotte

The fiscal cliff's impact on holiday sales


Retailers are hoping that post-Christmas sales can save the worst holiday shopping season in four years. And they might help.

On December 26th, we found Northlake Mall very busy. Shoppers told us it was the deals that lured them out.

But the first holiday spending reports are not. One says sales inched up just seven tenths of a percent – that is far below the three or four percentage point improvement economists predicted, given months of consistent gains in other categories like housing and unemployment.

Virginia Kacer manages a women's boutique.  "We are running fifty percent off our entire collection," she says.

And while her customers don't drop phrases like fiscal cliff, she see signs they're starting to feel a little uncertain again.

"In a non-verbal kind of a way," Kacer says. "Maybe they're not spending as much as they would have, or they're picking and choosing sometimes a little bit."

Kacer says recent sales at her store were promising, and consumer sentiment had been steadily improving for months, according to surveys. But then in D.C - where lawmakers are supposed to be talking fiscal cliff fixes – negotiations broke down. 

Now, the threat of widespread tax hikes hangs over us all.  And while lawmakers should strike some kind of deal at some point,

"We need a plan," Kacer says. "We need a plan. People just need to know what's happening. I think the fear of the unknown is what upsets people. They're not sure what's going to happen. So whatever they decide, a decision needs to be made."

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