Holiday spending was lower than expected

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Even with the big shopping push this holiday season, we're now learning it may not have been enough.

Shopping numbers have turned out to be a lower than expected.

Even with this year's big shopping days like Black Friday, and the rush before Christmas, industry experts are saying it hasn't helped much. Sales overall are the lowest since 2008, when the country was deep in the recession.

And now there's concern this could be a sign of where the economy is going. Experts say many people were reluctant to spend, so stores slashed prices and found ways to catch their attention.

WMBF News checked with local stores, and many had different experiences. Local store managers say promotions are the key to keeping people coming through the doors.

"We've had different styles of promotions and things like that going on and different types of sales," said Laura Conway with Handpicked at Market Common. "And I think that that's really driven our sales and our customers coming out to see us."

November and December are crucial months for holiday sales because they make up about 40% of the numbers for the whole shopping year. Yet we only saw small sales increases from month to month.

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