Updated: Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:14

Georgia's holiday shopping off to strong start

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ATLANTA -- Georgia retailers' holiday sales in the month of December are expected to increase between 3 percent and 4 percent in 2012, the Georgia Retail Association said today.
That's good news for state retailers, who can make between 20 percent and 40 percent of all their annual sales during the Christmas shopping season.

Georgia retailers reported healthy sales over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, which is a good indicator that the critical holiday season is off to a strong start, said GRA President Rick McAllister.
E-commerce sales rose at a higher rate than brick-and-mortar sales, McAllister said, and retailers posted record online sales on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend when many people go online to shop.

"Holiday sales are off to a strong start, and we expect store traffic and sales to pick up as we enter the final leg of the shopping season," McAllister said. "In particular, we are seeing higher than expected increases in online sales. However, we remain concerned that a few online retailers are still not in full compliance with Georgia's new e-fairness laws, and that is an issue we are monitoring closely."

Nationally, retailers posted record sales on Cyber Monday, with estimated sales up about 30 percent over last year, according to IBM Smarter Commerce, which tracked holiday sales at major online retailers. E-commerce sales have been generally been rising about 15 percent annually, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In Georgia, Internet retailers with nexus “ meaning an in-state presence as defined by state law -- are required to collect Georgia's state and local sales taxes. The e-fairness legislation passed during the 2012 Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

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