The sluggish economy can be blamed on two major factors, according to
"A high level of unemployment and a low level of consumer confidence
in the economy would lead you to believe that holiday sales would
probably be flat in comparison with recent years," said Tim Brandt,
senior manager in consumer products for Deloitte & Touche, a professional
Brandt said the American economy was struggling even before businesses
were hit with the adverse effects of the Sept. 11 tragedy.
But with the holiday season usually the most successful sales quarter
for merchants each year, some retailers might be relying on the next few
months' receipts to bounce back.
"For a lot of retailers, this is where they make all their money,"
said Jack Kyser, chief economist for Los Angeles County Economic
Development Corporation. "If it's a promotional, cautious quarter, some
may total everything up and file for Chapter 11 [bankruptcy]."
Kyser added that value retailers, like Target and WalMart, could do
well this season, while department stores and expensive specialty stores
In contrast, Glendale Galleria Senior Marketing Director Annette
Bethers said the shopping center has been doing well.
"Our traffic is holding firm," she said. "Our traffic is at least at
the level of last year and on some days a little more."
The Galleria will offer a series of marketing events to celebrate the
season, including a Santa's Nestle Tollhouse Holiday Bake Shop offering
children's pictures on cookie plates.
Montrose Shopping Park Assn. holiday events will include a tree
lighting, parade and live entertainment, such as carolers and a brass
Creative marketing is key, Brandt said.
"Retailers are going to have to work a little harder to earn the
consumer's dollar," Brandt said. "It will be a highly competitive