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Christmas 2003 Sales Summary

March 1, 2004

Retail Sales Summary

Distribution Channel % Change vs. Year Ago
Food Outlets -0.7%
Retail Drug Stores -3.3%
Mass Outlets Excluding Wal-Mart -0.2%
Estimated Wal-Mart +3.5%
Estimated Food, Drug, Mass & Wal-Mart -1.4%


*It has become more difficult to establish a firm sales figure for holiday candy sales since IRI stopped reporting scan data for the U.S.’s largest retailer Wal-Mart. Below, we report on Christmas sales by channel and make an estimate on Christmas sales at Wal-Mart.

Summary

Christmas candy sales slipped 1.4 percent as a result of the shorter sales period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2003. A more compact selling season for Christmas candy continues as a trend for retailers. Once again, the four-week December sales period posted stronger sales than the early December and November sales period. This is a continued trend of consumers putting off shopping until the last two weeks before Christmas. Click here for Consumer information on Seasonal Confectionery Holidays