Retail performance during the 2012 holiday shopping season was largely disappointing because of expectations formed based on sales early in the year, Joshua Halpern said.
Halpern said sales in the first seven months of the year were strong. At Albert's Diamond Jewelers, similar to other retailers, the national conversations about elections helped reduce the sales pace for a few months. But by the time the elections were over, expectations were high for what the retail season could be.
"The election hit (and) we saw a really a big boost in November thinking that we were going to have a wonderful holiday season," Halpern said. "And this fiscal cliff, the politicians and the media, everybody's talking about the fiscal cliff. It really put a damper on holiday shopping. People were uncertain about that."
He said foot traffic in stores were up in December, however, although the average amount of goods purchased was down.