Mauled At The Mall

Retailers are looking at a dismal coming year

Too little, too late--that's how Joel Martin, manager of the Tobacco Lane shop in the Parks at Arlington, a Dallas mall, describes Christmas 2000. Martin, whose tobacco and gift store sells everything from cigars to $300 stone carvings, says this Christmas was unlike any holiday season he has seen in six years managing the store. After a dismally slow start to December, Martin finally saw sales jump in the three days before Christmas. But by then there wasn't time to make up for the weak beginning. Especially disappointing were sales of big-ticket gift items that normally do very well at $300 to $500 a pop. "Everybody's griping," says Martin. "The mall did not seem as full as it had been in past years."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.