Retailers counting on last-minute holiday shopping sprees

(AP file photo)

(AP file photo)

The rush is on to finish holiday shopping.

New Jersey Retail Merchants Association president John Holub is expecting it to be busy at the stores in the last few days before Christmas and Hanukkah.

“There still are a few opportunities for people to order online but that window is closing really rapidly, so I think the real true procrastinators are probably going to end up at the stores,” he said. “And I think you’re going to have a real big push. Since the holiday this year, Christmas, is on a Sunday, this Friday and Saturday you’re going to see tremendous crowds at the stores.”

Retailers are optimistic they’ll meet projections for a 3.6 percent increase in overall sales this holiday season, he said.

“The economy is doing well. I mean job growth is relatively solid. Income growth is respectable. Gas prices are reasonable at this moment,” Holub said. “So there’s a lot of indicators that we’ve been dealing with for several years that really are in our favor right now.”

You may be hearing songs proclaiming this the “most wonderful time of the year,” and Holub confirmed that it is for retailers because holiday sales account for about 20 to 40 percent of annual profits.

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