The 1987 Christmas shopping season was more successful than expected for the nation's largest general retailers, according to sales figures announced today. But some stores had a rougher time than others.
"It turned out to be a satisfactory season, certainly not a strong one, but far, far from a bust," said Monroe H. Greenstein, a retail industry analyst with the investment firm Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.
Greenstein estimated that overall sales were up more than 6% last month from December, 1986.
The fears of many retailers and Wall Street analysts that this would be a disastrous Christmas were not borne out for the most part. Those fears began to surface as consumer spending proceeded sluggishly for much of the year, and they intensified after the stock market crashed Oct. 19.
But those fears helped retailers bring in business.
"The stores were very concerned," said Jeffrey B. Edelman, an analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. "They began talking markdowns early, they began to promote early and they got the sales."