By and  on December 14, 2007

Mass merchants always count on the last-minute holiday rush to make sales goals. They'll be doing the same this year, hoping that the extra day between Thanksgiving and Christmas will help them meet projections.

With worries over the economy looming, most buyers planned for slight increases in beauty sales in the 2 to 4 percent range. Several buyers said their overall sales were up in dollars but were slower in sell-through, suggesting consumers are buying higher-ticket items. Some chains were happy with the start of the holiday season; others were panicking. In addition to the economy, some chains said the weather had not helped — too warm to inspire the holiday mood in some regions and too treacherous to go out and shop in others.

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