Retailers wary of another winter storm during the holiday shopping rush

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Dec 13, 2013 5:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The weather plays an important role in holiday retail sales, especially in this part of the country, and the potential arrival of snow and freezing rain could mark the second consecutive weekend in the midstate affected by weather.

Wilkes University Business and Economics Professor Anthony Liuzzo says the effects are not going unnoticed at area shopping malls.

"Saturdays are a very important day for retailers and holiday shoppers, and by losing two of them in a row I think this is going to be a negative impact," he says.

Retailers are already dealing with a shortened holiday shopping season, because of a late Thanksgiving. Liuzzo says they'll have a lot riding on the Saturday before Christmas -- the so-called "Super Saturday."

"I'm expecting that the 21st will actually be the biggest [shopping] day of the year, providing of course that Mother Nature cooperates and gives us a reasonably good weather day."

Liuzzo's annual retail sales forecast points out the weekend before Christmas accounts for 30 percent of holiday sales receipts. Released earlier this fall, it predicted modest sales growth of 3.2 percent this year.

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