Come holiday time, stores of every stripe are putting their most promotional foot forward. The month of December accounts for a disproportionate amount of yearly sales for many retailers. Here’s how much business different types of stores did during December 2001.1JEWELRY STORESDec. 2001: 22.3 percent, $5.5 billion; Total year: $24.8 billionJewelry stores rely heavily on December sales. Zale’s newspaper inserts tout sale items and offer 12 months of interest-free financing. Tiffany & Co.’s financing deal sounds like a come-on for car buyers: no money down and no interest for 90 days, a policy the company said was instituted in 1837.2CONVENTIONAL AND NATIONAL CHAIN DEPARTMENT STORESDec. 2001: 16 percent, $14.7 billion; Total year: $92.3 billionNational department stores have a lot of eggs in the Christmas basket. J.C. Penney Co. chairman and ceo Allen Questrom said: "There is no other basket. The fourth quarter represents 40 to 70 percent of people’s profits." Despite discounts, Sears said it’s focused on growing its top line throughout the year.3FAMILY CLOTHING STORESDec. 2001: 14.6 percent, $8.4 billion; Total year: $57.3 billionWhat would Christmas be without cashmere? The ubiquitous luxury fiber is in evidence everywhere from Kohl’s Croft & Barrow separates, originally $68 to $80, on sale for $34 to $40, to Nordstrom’s cashmere mock-turtle tunic, a deal at $149.4WOMEN’S CLOTHING STORESDec. 2001: 14.5 percent, $4 billion; Total year: $32.8 billionAt Ann Taylor Loft, items are showcased in the windows with large hangtags reading "$10 off." Calvin Klein is running discreet ads announcing a 40-percent-off sale on fall collections. At Bebe, selected items are discounted up to 70 percent.5DEPARTMENT STORESDec. 2001: 14.5 percent, $33.3 billion; Total year: $230 billionLord & Taylor has been running full-page ads touting a laundry list of categories on sale including handbags, reduced 50 percent, and already reducedwatches discounted an extra 40 percent. Macy’s advertises doorbusters, red-star specials and super buys with 40 to 50 percent off coats and sweaters.6DISCOUNT STORESDec. 2001: 13.5 percent, $18.6 billion; Total year: $137.8 billionKmart began its holiday advertising about two weeks earlier than usual to promote the new Martha Stewart holiday collection and the Joe Boxer brand. At Wal-Mart, the "Every Day Low Price" mantra is a recurring theme throughout the season. "We’re competing like heck on price," a Wal-Mart spokesman said.7GENERAL MERCHANDISE STORESDec. 2001: 13.5 percent, $58.2 billion; Total year: $430.4 billionThe category, as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, takes in conventional department stores,discounters, supercenters, warehouse clubs and dollar stores, which include chains such as Goody’s and Dollar General, where the motto is, "Nothing should cost more than it comes to."8WAREHOUSE CLUBS AND SUPERSTORESDec. 2001: 12 percent, $20 billion; Total year: $164.5 billionSure, Costco sells bulk toilet paper and cleaning products, but it also carries gifts, including .33-carat, three-diamond necklaces for $389.99, XBOX bundles for $239.99 and two-speed John Deere Gators licensed to yuppie stroller manufacturer Peg Perego for $329.99.9ELECTRONIC SHOPPING AND CATALOGSDec. 2001: 10.9 percent, $11.7 billion; Total year: $106.5 billionGap’s online store features 25 percent off jackets and free shipping on purchases of $100 or more. J. Crew’s Web site has an entire page devoted to holiday sales, including 30 percent off sweaters and 20 to 40 percent off outerwear.10SHOE STORESDec. 2001: 10.8 percent, $2.4 billion; Total year: $21.6 billionWhile shoes aren’t a traditional holiday gift, December is still the biggest month for this retail category. And what woman wouldn’t want to find a pair of Blahniks under the tree?SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Surveys Branch

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