By Daniel Roberts, reporter
Despite the weak economy, there's cause for cautious optimism this holiday season, with sales expected to show single-digit increases over last year. Businesses like Lord & Taylor are not only relying on e-commerce but also ramping up efforts in m-commerce (mobile). Others are exploring t-commerce (digital-television shopping).
22%: Consumers who say they will shop at department stores this holiday season, according to NPD Group. That is down from 25% in 2009, which is, in turn, down from 26% in 2008.
$52 billion: The amount Americans will spend online in November and December, predicts Forrester Research -- up 16% over 2009.
150,900: Number of retail jobs added in October (much of it holiday hiring). That's three times more than October 2009, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas.
How many gift cards are you going to receive this year? And how many are going to gather dust in a drawer? Here's where all that money goes.
By Jessica Shambora / Graphic by Jason Lee
Gift cards may make perfect little stocking stuffers, but they're a huge business, with estimates putting the total value of merchant-issued cards at as much as $73 billion. Around 10% of sales come from the MORENov 26, 2010 3:00 AM ET
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