Finally some good news for retailers after last year’s fiasco which saw many retail chains close their doors. This year’s holiday season was much better, even with what seemed to be light traffic. The retail industry was up 2.9% from last year, more on the strength of watching expenses and being more selective with inventory, which meant that they didn’t have to go into the mode of drastic discounting like they did last year.

What was also a major indicator is that some of the big name retail stores did well. Stores like Nordstroms, Saks, and Neiman Marcus all showed significant gains of around 5% or more, and many other stores also saw nice profits. They weren’t alone, as even stores like Marshalls and Kohl’s showed nice increases this year.

Industry leaders feel pretty good about the holiday season, but they’re still holding their breaths, as they know that nothing really means a thing until the unemployment numbers start to come down for real. And I still feel we won’t know where unemployment really stands until February.

So, I hope the retail industry enjoys this victory for now, and has a chance to enjoy even more victories as the year goes forward.