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HOLIDAY SALES SURVEY SHOWS RETAILERS' SOLID OPTIMISM

 LANSING, Mich., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Three of every four Michigan retailers expect their 1993 holiday sales to be higher than last year's, according to the annual sales expectation survey released today by Michigan Retailers Association (MRA).
 Those retailers expect to register sales increases averaging 12 percent, the survey found.
 "These strong figures mark the second consecutive year of solid optimism after several years of uncertainty going into the important holiday shopping season," said Larry Meyer, MRA chief executive officer.
 "Our members are definitely looking forward to a bright holiday shopping season."
 The optimism appears fueled in large part by improved pre-holiday sales, Meyer said. More than 60 percent of the retailers who responded to MRA's survey said their pre-holiday sales for the year are up an average of 12 percent over 1992's figures.
 "We continue to see a slow but steady improvement in Michigan's retail climate," he said. "But competition remains intense. That means even better values for holiday shoppers, who can expect top service and more frequent sales and special promotions."
 Retailers in the Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland areas were the most optimistic, with nearly 84 percent projecting an average increase of just under 12 percent.
 The next most optimistic group was the Lansing, Jackson and Battle Creek areas, with 81 percent expecting an average increase of more than 13 percent. They were followed by: West Michigan retailers, 78 percent, 11 percent increase; Southeast Michigan, 70 percent, 13 percent increase; and Northern Michigan, 70 percent, 13 percent.
 The mail survey of MRA's more than 3,900 members and their 5,500 stores was conducted in early November. The poll, although unscientific, has been conducted annually since 1985 and provides a good indication of retail trends and levels of confidence in the economy, said Meyer.
 Michigan Retailers Association also is backing up its members during the holiday season with a "Yule Save Here" promotional campaign to increase shoppers' awareness of the benefits of buying from local retailers. The promotion includes colorful window stickers, advertising and other materials.
 MICHIGAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION
 1993 HOLIDAY EXPECTATIONS SURVEY RESULTS
 MICHIGAN STATEWIDE
 Retailers expecting holiday sales increase -- 75 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting year-to-date increase -- 60 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting increased holiday business hours -- 56 percent
 Average number of hours -- 11 hours
 SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN AREA
 Retailers expecting holiday sales increase -- 70 percent
 Average increase expected -- 13 percent
 Retailers reporting year-to-date increase -- 49 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting increased holiday business hours -- 54 percent
 Average number of hours -- 12 hours
 LANSING, BATTLE CREEK, JACKSON AREA
 Retailers expecting holiday sales increase -- 81 percent
 Average increase expected -- 13 percent
 Retailers reporting year-to-date increase -- 74 percent
 Average increase expected -- 16 percent
 Retailers reporting increased holiday business hours -- 54 percent
 Average number of hours -- 13 hours
 NORTHERN MICHIGAN AREA
 Retailers expecting holiday sales increase -- 70 percent
 Average increase expected -- 13 percent
 Retailers reporting year-to-date increase -- 58 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting increased holiday business hours -- 51 percent
 Average number of hours -- 12 hours
 WEST MICHIGAN AREA
 Retailers expecting holiday sales increase -- 78 percent
 Average increase expected -- 11 percent
 Retailers reporting year-to-date increase -- 63 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting increased holiday business hours -- 50 percent
 Average number of hours -- 9 hours
 FLINT, SAGINAW, BAY CITY AND MIDLAND AREA
 Retailers expecting holiday sales increase -- 84 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting year-to-date increase -- 69 percent
 Average increase expected -- 12 percent
 Retailers reporting increased holiday business hours -- 68 percent
 Average number of hours -- 11 hours
 -0- 11/22/93
 /CONTACT: T. Scott of Michigan Retailers, 517-372-5656/


CO: Michigan Retailers Association ST: Michigan IN: REA SU:

SB-RD -- DE009 -- 6754 11/22/93 10:36 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1993
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