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US festive high street sales hit decade high

US retailers have recorded their best holiday sales season in over a decade, as an improving labour market and lower fuel prices encouraged consumers to splash out during the festive period. Same-store sales for November and December gained 5% according to the Retail Metrics index, topping forecasts for 3.8%. It was the best performance for physical shops and their ecommerce arms since the data were first tracked in 2000. In a challenging environment for clothing retailers, JC Penney said comparable sales had risen 3.7% over the nine weeks, and forecast fourth-quarter same-store at the upper end of its previous guidance of 2-4%.

 

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