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Late December Rush Boosts Holiday Sales

BY CSA STAFF

Chicago, ShopperTrak RCT Corp.’s National Retail Sales Estimate reported on Wednesday that U.S. retail sales for the month of December increase 4.4% compared to the same month in 2004. Consumers took advantage of the extended holiday shopping season to purchase gifts closer to both Christmas and Hanukah, culminating in a 25.5% week-over-week sales increase for the week ending Dec. 24. The late rush helped salvage the flat holiday season.

While Dec. 26 was a strong performing sales day for consumers, it still finished behind the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25), Saturday, Dec. 17 and Friday, Dec. 23 in the 2005 holiday season. Sales for the week ending December 31 fell 2.0% compared to the same week in 2004.

“With the 2005 holiday season coming to a close, we can look at December and see that it made a strong showing in comparison to a very healthy December in 2004,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “Due to the consumer outpouring in December, it appears we’re on track to reach the 4.2% increase we originally projected coming into the holiday season, which should have retailers breathing a sigh of relief.”

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MarineMax Buys Midwest Boat Dealership

BY CSA STAFF

Clearwater, Fla., Boat retailer MarineMax Inc. has agreed to purchase Port Arrowhead Group, a $70 million boat dealership primarily serving Missouri and Oklahoma and neighboring states. MarineMax will pay $27.5 million in cash, plus working capital adjustments and the assumption of liabilities. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

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Linens ’N Things Deal Gets U.S. Antitrust

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, U.S. antitrust authorities on Tuesday said that they approved plans by private equity firm Apollo Management L.P. and its affiliates to buy Linens ‘N Things.

Under the terms of the Apollo deal, financing is contingent upon Linens ‘N Things reporting a fourth-quarter same-store sales decline of no more than 6% and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of not less than $140 million.

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