Although a winter storm put a damper on after-Christmas shopping for residents along the East Coast Sunday, this year's holiday shopping season could turn out to be the best ever.
Consumers across the rest of the U.S. scoured clearance racks during the afterglow of the best holiday season for retailers since 2007. Spending is on track to rise 3 to 4 percent this year.
In an effort to attract shoppers back to the stores this week, retailers have been rolling out deals and expanding store hours.
"The day after Christmas, a lot of people are with their families," said Tiffany Chaney, the manager for J.C. Penney at Hanes Mall. "You've got people coming out. They've got their cash and they've got their gift cards. They are not out just for returns. They're looking for things for themselves."
According to the research firm ShopperTrak, Dec. 26 through Jan. 1 sales account for more than 15 percent of holiday spending.
Retailers "came into December having made money," Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market research firm NPD Group, said. "If December is prosperous, that will lead them to feel confident in 2011, and that's really what this last week is all about."