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HOLIDAY OUTLOOK BETTER THAN EXPECTED

 MIAMI, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Retailers nationwide have experienced about an 8 percent comparable store increase for the post-Thanksgiving period and expect their overall comparable holiday season figures to finish an average of 9 percent higher than last Christmas.
 Retailers' expectations, in a Dec. 15 telephone survey of 40 Deloitte & Touche clients, are more positive than two months ago when Deloitte & Touche conducted its annual "Retail Business Outlook" survey which then indicated that 41 percent of 1,175 merchants expected holiday sales to be flat or up to three percent higher. However, about one third of the October respondents expected better results.
 The follow-up telephone survey also indicates more credit card activity is occurring for more than one-third (36 percent) of companies, while credit card sales are about the same as last year for the majority of merchants (52 percent).
 "There seems to be a positive mood among consumers," says Irwin Cohen, national partner and co-chairman of the Trade Retail & Distribution Services Group of Deloitte & Touche.
 "It appears that consumers are more willing to open their pocketbooks compared to the past three years and that their appetite for credit also has increased." However, looking to the New Year Cohen says "consumer spending still needs to be closely monitored based on some of the corporate rightsizing we continue to read and hear about."
 Retailers report that hot categories for holiday gift giving are:
 -- Apparel: young men's women's sportswear, activewear,
 dresses, and infants
 -- Fashion Jewelry
 -- Electronics: games and computers
 -- Sporting goods: cold weather gear and exercise equipment.
 In women's wear, the most often cited items selling well are fashion jewelry -- especially rhinestone pieces and watches, western wear, body suits, velvet dresses, and cashmere sweaters and coats.
 About Deloitte & Touche
 Deloitte & Touche, one of the nation's largest professional services firms, provides accounting and auditing, tax, and management consulting services through 15,300 people in offices in more than 100 U.S. cities. The firm is part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International, a global leader in professional services with 56,000 people in 108 countries.
 The Trade Retail & Distribution Services Group of Deloitte & Touche is the profession's largest practice dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of retailers and related industries.
 -0- 12/18/92
 /CONTACT: Craig Toll, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches, 305-728-3806, Joseph Smith, Tampa, 813-223-7591, Michael Zychinski, 407-423-7605, or Edward Corristan, Jacksonville, 904-356-0011, all of Deloitte & Touche/


CO: Deloitte & Touche ST: Florida IN: REA SU: ECO

SS-JB -- FL010 -- 8305 12/18/92 14:39 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 18, 1992
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