Superstorm Sandy could hurt holiday sales - New York News

Superstorm Sandy could hurt holiday sales

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An industry group says that it may turn into a rough holiday season for retailers because people may have to shift holiday spending to pay for post-Sandy recovery.

Prior to the storm, a survey showed the majority of New York retailers were expecting a strong 2012 holiday shopping season.

That changed with the storm, according to the Retail Council of New York State.

"Downstate consumers who lost homes, vehicles and other assets may now take holiday funds to buy necessities versus the latest electronic, jewelry or other holiday wares," said Retail Council president James R. Sherin.

Hurricane Sandy will have broad and long lasting consequences for both consumers and businesses, according to Sherin.

"There is real potential for consumers to shift spending to some industry segments like home improvement stores and away from others that heavily rely on holiday sales to keep them in the black," Sherin says.

The Retail Council, the state's largest retail trade association, conducts a Holiday Sales Watch survey each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas to track retail sales and trends.

While optimistic in the pre-storm survey, the majority of respondents were concerned about consumer confidence in the economy.

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