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Outcome Of Presidential Election Could Hurt Shopping Season

Photo by Damian Dovarganes

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations ahead of a pre-Black Friday event at the Walmart Supercenter store in Rosemead, California, Nov. 22, 2012.

A San Diego State University lecturer says the holiday shopping season could suffer because the presidential election is drawing so much attention.

The months-long presidential campaign ends Tuesday, but national politics could still have an impact on holiday shopping sales.

The election's impact on the nation's $656 billion holiday shopping season doesn't end when the polling places close. Retailers say the period between now and Thanksgiving Day could go a long way toward determining the success of the holiday shopping season.

Lagging sales from consumers distracted by politics could put extra pressure on retailers trying to meet holiday sales targets.

"The election and who ever gets elected, if it creates hesitancy by the consumer, it's going to be bad for business," said Miro Copic, a San Diego State University lecturer.

The National Retail Federation is predicting a boost in holiday spending this year when compared to last year, but consumers may hold off starting their holiday spending. If they do that, the shopping period will be shorter and there's a shrinking chance that sales will top last year.

"It is temporary, but it is significant because it is right at the beginning when retailers are starting to market to consumers," Copic said.

Some businesses make 70 percent of their revenue in November and December.

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