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Retailers Fear Quiet Holiday Shopping Season

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BOSTON (CBS) — This holiday shopping season may prove to be disappointing for retailers.

That’s according to retail analysts that say the late Thanksgiving paired with tax increases and high energy costs could keep would-be shoppers’ wallets in their pockets.

Outside the Hickory Farms holiday market, they were offering treats in an effort to lure customers on Monday. But for the most part, free candy wasn’t doing the trick.

“People just aren’t spending what they spent ten years ago when they went into a retail shop. But we have to keep a positive outlook,” Edward Jupin said.

But will staying positive, plus a positive deluge of price-slashing, be enough to save a holiday shopping season cut short by an unusually late Thanksgiving?

“We need more people to hire and we need wages to go up, and there’s a lot of questions out there about new jobs coming out and additional costs from the ACA, and some of these issues are weighing on people’s minds,” Jon Hurts of Mass. Retailers Association said.

Analysts say it’s a formula for a quieter-than-hoped-for season.

Retailers are trying everything they can think of – including deep discounts ahead of Thanksgiving – to get shoppers motivated.

“The consumer represents 70% of the economy. So if the consumer isn’t confident, if the consumer isn’t investing in themselves, then who is really investing in the economy?” Hurst said.

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