Here are a few holiday facts you may not have known...
Rush to the Stores
$27 billion: Retail sales at the nation’s department stores in December 2011. This represented a 45 percent jump from the previous month when retail sales registered $18.6 billion. No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.
Other U.S. retailers with sizable jumps in sales between November and December 2011 were-
- Book stores: 76 percent
- Clothing stores: 38 percent
- Jewelry stores: 129 percent
- Radio, TV and other electronics stores: 40 percent
- Sporting goods stores: 55 percent
Christmas Trees and Decorations
$103 billion: The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2012. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees supplied to the United States with $139.9 million worth shipped during the same period.
Where the Toys Are Made
73: Number of establishments around the country that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2010. California led the nation with 10 locations.
525: The number of locations that primarily produced games, toys and children’s vehicles in 2010; they employed 7,374 workers. California led the nation with 85 establishments.
Some places around the country that may put you in the holiday mood are:
- Snowflake, AZ, population 5,587
- Santa Claus, IN, population 2,484
- North Pole, AK, population 2,154
- Noel, MO, population 1,822
- Santa Claus, GA, population 166
Hanukkah and Kwanzaa
58 percent: Proportion of the nation’s spuds produced in Idaho and Washington during the fall of 2011. Potato latkes are always a crowd pleaser during Hanukkah.
$1.38 billion: The value of product shipments of candles in 2011 by the nation’s manufacturers. Many of these candles are lit during Hanukkah (Dec. 8 to 16) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26 to Jan. 1) celebrations.