Retailers said they enjoyed a stronger holiday sales season in 2003 than they did the previous year, although some said shoppers waited until the last minute to do much of their buying. Supermarket operators contacted by SN said they were pleased with the level of sales during the busy November-December period. "It was absolutely excellent," said Ron Pearson, chairman, Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, who said comparable-store sales for the two weeks before Christmas were up 6%. "Consumer ...

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