Visa Spendtrack numbers from the last two weeks (ending December 19th) show specialty retail/gift/hobby as the weakest retail segment. For the week ending December 12th, specialty retail was down 2.5%; for the week ending December 19th, specialty retail was up 1.4%. Other retail segments were up from 3.9% to 38% in the period. E-commerce was up the most, averaging a 35% increase over the two-week period.
While the Visa numbers are skewed somewhat by the fact that they only reflect purchases made with Visa credit and debit cards, this is still an indication that it's a tough environment for full price retailers.