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The Grinch That Will Fail to Steal Christmas

The Grinch That Will Fail to Steal Christmas

The Whos down in Whoville are starting to stir, as memories of the recession are beginning to blur.

Maybe they’ll spend a bit more this year — perhaps on a roast, a dessert, or some holiday cheer.

But wait, there’s word of a cold, icy chill. It’s blowing down from up on Capitol Hill.

Sequestration, a shutdown, Obamacare costs. Could it be that the holiday season is lost?

Will the Grinch put a stop to seasonal spending? Could it be the recovery soon will be ending?

Grocery executives say that’s yet to be seen. (For more on their outlook, please see Page 14.)

There’s reason to fret, they freely admit. But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to quit.

They’re offering deals, in-store and online, which should give consumers some good peace of mind.

Fuel discounts at Food City, sports tie-ins at Hy-Vee. At Tops, social media deals only followers can see.

What’s more, inflation is low — both a blessing and curse, but it may loosen the strings on the collective Who-purse.

Some retailers are even in jolly good moods, such as Neimann, Harps, Reasor’s and Festival Foods.

It’s an emotional time, these retailers say, and shoppers will celebrate, somehow and some way.

They’ll come for the bargains, and when they see what’s in store, maybe they’ll spend just a little bit more.

While the forecasters prognosticate, fumble and fidget, food retailers see sales gains. (At least low single digits.)

There are exceptions, of course — Wal-Mart is flat. But you won’t hear supermarkets complain about that.

In grocery, it’s been a year of transitions. Mergers and buyouts, IPOs, acquisitions.

And it’s not over yet, it would appear. Will Dominick’s and Pathmark be gone by next year?

It happened to Sweetbay, and to Fresh & Easy. The industry’s changing so fast, it could make one queasy.

Harris Teeter got bought, and likewise Nash Finch. (With all this activity, who’s got time for the Grinch?)

But in the end, the strong will only get stronger. The weak won’t last for very much longer.

Economic recovery is still uneven at best. And this season, retailers will be put to the test.

But if you read what our reporter, Elliot Zwiebach, wrote, 2013 will end on a positive note.

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