The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 27, 2012

Last-minute shopping push

NORMAN — The last-minute shopping rush this year included the usual stocking stuffers and holiday foods. But this year, thanks to a less-than-accurate weather forecast, shoppers were stocking up on bread, milk and enough bottled water to get them through a blizzard.

A grocer said the same people were there a few days earlier stocking up for the predicted end-of-the-world party. You’d think those staples would have kept for a few days.

But the blizzard that didn’t happen provided a few more holiday sales for brick-and-mortar retailers that didn’t have the best of shopping seasons. Retail analysts say online shopping increased at a higher percentage than on-site buying.

Stores in the northeast are blaming SuperStorm Sandy for some of their lackluster numbers. Locally, stores were hauling out those plastic sleds, snow shovels and bags of ice melt.

The boost may be short-lived. After-Christmas sales and returns could be slowed due to traffic delays. Look for the crowds to show once the snow and ice melts.

The Christmas morning snow and ice caused a few more places to remain closed for the holiday. Some fast-food franchises that promise to be open on Christmas Day decided it wasn’t worth the effort, since most folks were staying home anyway.

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