Retailers report higher December sales - Article Photos 1/2

In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, photo, a holiday shopper walks past a large Christmas tree at Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, Calif. A last-minute surge in spending helped many major U.S. retailers report better-than-expected sales in December, a relief for stores that make up to 40 percent of annual revenue during the holiday period. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)