By  on December 22, 2011

The sustained post-Thanksgiving lull hasn’t dampened the early enthusiasm of researchers tracking holiday results.

In fact, expectations of a mad — and principally offline — pre- and post-Christmas rush to stores has led the National Retail Federation and ShopperTrak to lift their sales expectations for the combined November-December selling period to increases of 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, from 2.8 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Another group, Customer Growth Partners LLC, is sticking with its more bullish prediction of a 6.5 percent increase in overall holiday sales, with apparel and accessories leading all categories of merchandise with a 7.6 percent pickup.

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