Gift card-wielding shoppers stormed local stores Monday, bustling about the sales floors and winding through epic lines. The activity tops off what Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., has called an unusual shopping season that has been both stimulated and sedated by surges in electronic innovation. Though new technology has lured some shoppers into marketplaces, Kyser said, an increase in online shopping and an explosion in gift cards might have created the illusion of a slow shopping season. Gift cards make it difficult for retailers to determine just how much money they have raked in until months later, after gift card-holders have spent their credit.
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