NYS retailers off to fast holiday start

December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 1, 2011 at 7:42 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First

December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 1, 2011 at 7:42 AM EDT

The majority of retailers across New York state recorded their best "Black Friday" weekend in years, a trade group said Wednesday.

The survey by the Albany-based Retail Council of New York State found 85 percent of merchants reported sales were better than or the same as what is the traditional opening weekend of the holiday shopping season.

"We were impressed by consumer buying power over Black Friday weekend in 2010, but are immensely encouraged by the turnout this year," said Retail Council President and CEO James Sherin. "Retailers had the right mix of merchandise at the right price to get shoppers to open those long-locked wallets."

Also, 65 percent of merchants were pleased with the sales activity in their stores, although apparel retailers said unseasonably warm weather stalled shopper interest in coats, boots, sweaters and other winter wear.

The Retail Council's first "Holiday Sales Watch" report can be found at http://retailcouncilnys.com/newsroom/news-release/holiday-sales-watch-1_2011.

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