NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Preliminary data and anecdotal evidence suggest that a strengthening U.S. economy likely made this holiday season a relatively merry one for retailers.
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According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, sales gained momentum throughout December, while the National Retail Federation is predicting a 4.1% increase in sales during November and December, the biggest jump since 2011. Super Saturday, the last big shopping day before Christmas, was the busiest day of the season, with Consumer Growth Partners estimating that sales on the day totaled $23 billion, compared to the $20 billion spent on Black Friday.
Meanwhile, recent visits to several retailers in the New York area revealed strong sales for certain electronics and apparel items.
"The overall store is slow, but we can't keep big-screen, high-definition TVs in stock," said one associate at New York based electronics chain P.C. Richard on the Sunday before Christmas. He added that pricey wearable devices by Jawbone, Garmin and Fitbit, which could fetch up to $150, were also selling briskly. The Sony Playstation 4, priced at $349.99, was also out of stock.
The observations dovetail with those made by TheStreet at New York area Best Buy stores on Black Friday and through Christmas Eve. The top out-of-stock items included $179.99 Beats by Dre Solo 2 headphones, wearable devices, the Motorola 360 smartwatch, and seven-inch tablets by Samsung that run about $220 after-tax. Furthermore, the high-definition Sony and Samsung areas were consistently well-trafficked, with new 4K screens costing as much as $8,000 apiece.