Holiday Retail Sales for 2013 Are Weaker Than They Look

Things were stacked against retailers this holiday season, and it seems they may have pushed too hard to please. Consumer demand was anemic, and there were fewer days to shop because of the late November date for Thanksgiving. Foot traffic in stores dropped off in December. Retailers responded with aggressive discounting, then tried to force through more last-minute shipping deals than UPS could handle. The result? Unhappy customers and concern about ever-narrowing profit margins.

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