Two Christmases

| Thu Jan. 6, 2011 4:19 PM EST

Welcome to the recovery:

Retailers did not get all that they wanted for Christmas, with December sales coming in lower than expected. But the holiday season altogether was still the strongest since 2006, and several categories including luxury continued their growth.

....“A lot of companies and sectors out there did well, better than analysts expected,” particularly the more exclusive retailers, said Chris Donnelly, a senior executive in the retail practice at Accenture, the consulting firm.

....Luxury items continued to rise, even more so than analysts had expected, with the two higher-end stores reporting results — Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue — beating estimates by the biggest amounts. At Saks, sales at stores open at least a year, a measure called same-store sales, rose 11.8 percent, beating estimates of 3.9 percent. And Nordstrom’s rose 8.4 percent, versus estimates of 3.4 percent.

Italics mine. Holiday sales overall weren't bad, which is a promising sign. But maybe not so promising for ordinary working schlubs.

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