Retailers across Illinois reported heavy traffic this holiday season. Peter Gill, spokesman for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, says Illinois was part of a new national trend: two holiday shopping seasons, one just after Thanksgiving and one just after Christmas. Gill says many retailers enticed gift card recipients with big sales.
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“Retailers are trying to promote and bring those people in who have gift cards,” he says. “There were a lot of gift cards sold this year, and those count for the retailers once they’re redeemed.”
Gill says holiday sales were good this year, but nothing for the record books. He says warmer-than-average temperatures enticed people to go shopping, but hardware stores trying to sell snow shovels and sidewalk salt took a hit.