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Survey: Another Good Holiday Season For Michigan Retailers

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Shoppers move about in Macy's department store. (File photo  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Shoppers move about in Macy’s department store. (File photo (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

DETROIT (WWJ) – A new survey out by the Michigan Retailers Association shows this past holiday season was the second in a row with improved sales.

Tom Scott, who is with the MRA, says 2011 sales fell short of meeting pre-season expectations. But, he says, those were set based on the major rebound year in 2010.

“The projection overall was 6% but the average increase overall this year was 4% – that’s just a little bit short. Last year was the first good holiday season we have had in 8-10 years. This year we were going up against a much better year (2010) – even a 4% increase – that’s good,” said Scott.

He says the state’s holiday sales could have been better, but competed with a 15% rise in online sales from out-of-state retailers that don’t charge Michigan’s six-percent sales tax.

“The online only retailers, the ones not based in Michigan, they are getting a 6% price advantage over our Michigan retailers, because of the loophole in the law that says they don’t have to collect tax. I think these holiday figures show that we need the legislatures to step up and address this issue,” said Scott.

Looking ahead, about half Michigan’s retailers say they expect sales to increase during the first quarter of this year when compared with the first quarter of 2011.

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