WICHITA — Christmas in Sedgwick County was sort of backwards last year. According to the state department of revenue, November saw a surge in sales, up nearly 10 percent from November of 2010. But December was actually down slightly from 2010. Together, the two-month-long holiday season was up a strong, but not spectacular 4.2 percent from the year before.
Anxiety drove merchants to discount heavily in October and November on the theory that if people spent big early, they were more likely to spend more overall. Obviously, people responded. But the the end result wasn’t all that big, at least in Wichita, which make you wonder if they just robbed December sales with heavy November markdowns.