NRF Forecasts One Percent Decline in Holiday Sales
"As the global economy continues to recover from the worst economic crisis most retailers have ever seen, Americans will focus primarily on practical gifts and shop on a budget this holiday season," said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells.
Though some hopeful signs of a recovery have begun to emerge, like better-than-expected sales in August and momentum in the stock market, continued consumer uncertainty over job security and housing values will take a toll on spending this holiday season. And, as retailers become even more promotional, certain popular holiday categories like apparel and electronics may experience deflation due to aggressive sales.
"The expectation of another challenging holiday season does not come as news to retailers, who have been experiencing a pullback in consumer spending for over a year," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. "To compensate, retailers' focus on the holiday season has been razor-sharp with companies cutting back as much as possible on operating costs in order to pass along aggressive savings and promotions to customers."
For more information, visit www.nrf.com.
* NRF defines "holiday sales" as retail industry sales in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.
** Holiday retail sales for the past four years have been revised based on revisions from the U.S. Department of Commerce.