Posted at: 09/17/2013 5:56 PM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 8:15 AM
By: Tom Durian
We are still a few months from the holiday shopping season, but new reports by analysts say it looks like sales will be down from years past.
Research firm ShopperTrak says we will likely see a 2.4 percent increase in holiday shopping this year. That's down from three percent last year.
Local retail expert David Brennan from the University of St. Thomas says he expects the Twin Cities to fare better than the national numbers. "I think it will be slightly better than the nation as a whole, unemployment is 5.3 percent in Minnesota versus 7.3 percent nationwide."
Brennan also believes that online shopping will continue to grow. "People say that they're going to spend 25 percent of their money on the internet, obviously brick and mortar stores lose out if they don't have an online presence."
Brennan says the online sales tax that was approved in Minnesota should even out the playing field a bit this shopping season.
Brennan and his colleagues will prepare their own retail study, which is expected out in November.