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36

A Holly, Jolly Christmas?
 

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Despite the recent upswing in the GDP and recent gains in the stock market, a many small business owners expect weak holiday spending and few said they will hire temporary employees, according to an October survey by DollarDays International, a wholesale retailer. However, 55% see the economy as improving whereas 44% say it is stagnant or declining.

More survey results:
*36% of small business owners say their sales seem to be ahead of last year's holiday season, while 34% say their business is about the same and 28% say this year's sales are lower than last year's.
*57% say customers are more cost conscious than they were last year, while 41% say customers are equally or less focused on cost. 
*44% of small business owners surveyed say holiday season sales will be better than last year, while 28% say their sales will be below last year's level and 26% expect their sales to be the same as last year's. 
*76% of small business owners say they will not hire seasonal employees to help with this year's holiday rush. 
*30% say they will stock their stores with more seasonal merchandise than they stocked last year, while 31% say they will stock less and 37% say their stock levels will remain the same as last year's.

In a press release Marc Joseph, president of DollarDays was quoted as saying, "Small business owners are clearly being cautiously optimistic about the economy in the long term, but they don't expect to see a huge improvement in time for the busiest shopping season of the year. While our survey is not scientific, it does point out the challenges faced by small business owners.  It also points out that the economy probably won’t benefit from a boost in seasonal employment."  

Last updated: Nov 4, 2003




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