Stores Open For 100 Hours To Attract Holiday Shoppers

That has given Americans less time to shop. Sales at U.S. stores rose 2 percent to $176.7 billion from Nov. 1 through last Sunday, according to ShopperTrak. That's a slower pace than the 2.4 percent increase the Chicago store data tracker expects for the entire two-month season.





Online shopping popular, but won't save season





SELLOUTS AND CRASHES In the early days of online shopping, frustrated shoppers often found the items they wanted to buy online were out hyperlink of stock. In recent years, though, retailers have worked to boost their online inventory: For examples, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has doubled the number of items it carries online this year to 6 million. Overall, retailers are better prepared than they were a few years ago to fill online orders via their inventory in store or in manufacturers' distribution centers, said Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. But they still have inventory problems that cause them to run out of popular merchandise, analysts say. And when that happens, retailers can lose potential sales. But inventory isn't the only problem that continues to plague online shopping.