Retailers saw a 2012 holiday shopping season in line with expectations, which have been taken down a notch ever since the 2008 recession and remain that way.
"We are all doing about the same," said Rosemary De St. Jean, owner of Rosemary's Heritage Flowers in Crown Point. "We are still not completely out of this thing, whatever it is."
Retailers are concentrating on the basics in order to make it through the current era of dampened expectations. Those include making new customers feel welcome, continuing customers feel valued and always offering something new.
The 2012 U.S. presidential election and the media hype surrounding it did seem to have consumers worried, said De St. Jean. The recent fiscal cliff standoff between the president and Congress did not appear to worry them to the same extent.
Retailers are now looking forward to holiday's like Valentine's Day, Easter and then the mother of them all, Mother's Day.
"I'm not over-optimistic, but I think we will all be doing fine when it's all over," De St. Jean said.