With Christmas fast approaching, holiday sales appear to be picking up -- but it may not be enough to rescue the season for retailers. In a study released on Monday, ShopperTrak RCT said that retail sales jumped last week after being depressed by the previous week's cold front. But sales for the month to date are still considerably weaker than 2001's and are projected to fall 5.4% from last year, ShopperTrak reported. Meanwhile, weekly same-store revenue reports from Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Federated ( FD) indicated that retailers were still struggling to meet their modest sales projections. "Certainly, sales are not generally exceeding expectations," said Michael Niemira, vice president of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and lead consultant on ShopperTrak's retail report. "It's not been a strong season, but it might finish on a stronger note." The holiday shopping season got off to a disappointing start last month. Although retail sales rose a surprising 0.4% in November, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, traditional holiday shopping destinations, such as department, apparel and sporting goods stores, posted sales declines for the month. Individually, companies such as Target ( TGT), Sears ( S), American Eagle Outfitters ( AEOS) and Ann Taylor ( ANN) all reported same-store sales declines for the month. Same-store sales figures compare revenue at outlets open for more than one year. Many retailers blamed their poor November results in part on this year's late Thanksgiving. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the traditional start of the holiday shopping madness, came one week later than normal this year. Some also blamed winter storms that blanketed the Midwest and Atlantic coast for a poor showing in the first week of December. Retail sales appeared to turn around last week, with sales approaching $30 billion, according to ShopperTrak. Sales on Saturday hit $6.3 billion, the second-largest shopping day of the season so far after Black Friday.