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Santa did not go back to the North Pole, instead heading to rehab and group therapy. Santa’s Anonymous is a growing group thanks to a lousy holiday shopping season. The final numbers show that holiday sales for retailers declined 2.8% in 2008. It represents the first decline in holiday sales since the National Retail Federation started forecasting and tracking the numbers in 1995. Online retail sales were just as bad, declining 3%, compared to the 2007. However, comScore discovered that the top growing online product category for the season was “Sport & Fitness,” which grew 18% versus one-year ago. The NRF says that among brick and mortar retailers, health and personal care stores grew by 8% and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores were up slightly.

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