By  on November 23, 2012

With plenty of hype over earlier hours and price promoting as intense as ever, retailers got off to a decent, but not stellar start to the Christmas season and are keeping cautious on the fourth quarter outlook.

Several stores and malls reported strong traffic helped by dry and mild weather, but the actual buying wasn't commensurate. Retailers and mall operators said the crowds were very young, often buying for themselves rather than for gifts, and that electronics generally outperformed apparel. Concerns centered over outerwear and cold weather accessories not selling enough, and alull beginning next week that could last through half or more of December.

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