For the 2009 holiday season it appears that retailers won. Retailers kept tight control over their inventories and avoided deep discounting; consumers bought what they needed in a sales surge right before Christmas.
Retailers have reported good December sales gains, suggesting the beginnings of a sales comeback. Overall the industry turned in a 2.9% sales increase from 2008 and 75% of retailers beat analysts' estimates, the highest percentages of companies to do so since March 2007.
The holiday results are amongest some of the latest signs that the economy, while still a long way from pre-recession levels, has turned a corner.