Nielsen: ’08 Holiday Sales Rose 6%

The early predictions were gloomy: The recession gripping the U.S. would make for a dismal holiday shopping season for retailers. And while many retailers certainly felt the effects of the economic downturn, holiday dollar sales in 2008 actually increased 5.8 percent, or $99.5 billion, across grocery and drug stores, mass merchandisers and convenience stores, according to Nielsen.