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Holiday Sales Sluggish for Second Week in a Row

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Retailers across New York were disappointed by lackluster holiday sales last week. The state Retail Council says sales were up just one to two percent from the same week in 2001.

"Retailers knew well in advance that it could be a challenging season and are committed to doing their best on price and service to attract consumers," said Retail Council President and Chief Executive Officer James A. Quaremba.

"Unfortunately, it looks like merchants will need to rely on last minute shopping to balance out the books, much like they did in 2001."

But Quaremba says retailers aren't giving up hope. If the last couple of years are any indication, Quaremba said this weekend should be a busy one.

"Shoppers will continue to see heavy promotional activity throughout the remainder of the season," said Quaremba.

Retailers said the wintry weather of the past couple of weeks has made outwear such as coats, hats and gloves top sellers.