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N.H. retailers expecting slight holiday sales growth

New Hampshire retailers are expecting their holiday sales to be up 4 percent, slightly higher than what’s expected nationally.

The Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire says 73 percent of those businesses surveyed are anticipating their 2013 holiday sales will be the same or better than last year. The survey said 58 percent of the respondents said their store traffic so far this year has been the same or better than last year.

When asked whether they had been a victim of “show rooming” – the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it, but then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item – 38 percent of respondents replied that they had.

When asked what factors would have the biggest affect on sales this holiday season, 90 percent of respondents thought consumers’ uncertainty over government actions would be detrimental to spending. However, on the plus side, lower gasoline prices and energy costs will result in more discretionary spending.

“Due to our lack of a sales tax, New Hampshire retailers tend to do better than retailers in other parts of the country. Combine that with sales and competitive pricing, and consumers will have a tremendous advantage this holiday season,” said Nancy Kyle, president and CEO of the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire, a nonprofit trade association representing nearly 900 businesses in the state.

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