By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 19, 2011

A spot check of retail sales a week before Christmas raises an interesting question

In a note to clients issued Monday, Hudson Square Research’s Daniel Ernst reported on the results of a pre-holiday scouting trip he took to retail stores in New York and Connecticut over the weekend — only a handful of shopping days before Christmas — where he found “floor traffic up materially, but lines at checkout short.”

Demand for tablet computers was strong, he wrote, with Apple’s (AAPL) iPad maintaining its lead.

Amazon’s (AMZN) tablet sales, however, were a mystery:

“While Amazon reported that the Kindle family of devices was selling more than 1M units per week, we continue to be surprised that the Kindle Fire is still in-stock (as opposed to sold-out).”

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