Some Christmas sales down

Christmas sales 2010 seem to be weaker than in previous years.  According to the Swedish Trade Federation, sales of clothing during the first three weeks of December were down 6 percent compared to the same period last year, and sales of shoes were off by 1.5 percent.

The poor showing is at least partly blamed on heavy snow, which has kept people out of the shops. One of the country’s biggest toy store chains says the poor weather is hurting sales as well.

But Sweden’s biggest bookstore chain says its sales are up by 5 percent compared to last year. Online book sales are also up this year, and cutting into shop sales, although the rate of increase has slowed down.