Since the Christmas holiday shopping season is the most important time on the retail sales calendar, retail industry professionals, investors, and analysts are obsessed with doing research and making predictions about how consumers will shop and behave. In a year of economic uncertainty, interest in Christmas holiday spending, shopping, buying, and retail sales predictions was particularly strong in 2011.
High street retailers have been facing stormy weather all year and retail experts predict the industry's worst Christmas since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 as low confidence levels dent festive spending. There were fresh signs of distress from the high street this week as the company behind Barratts shoe shops collapsed into administration putting more than 4,000 jobs at risk.
This is the biggest shopping weekend of the year and will be make or break time for many retailers who make the lion's share of their profits in the month before Christmas.