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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 08, 2009

NRF predicts 1% drop in holiday retail sales

It's becoming more and more apparent that consumers are planning a thrifty holiday period and the latest National Retail Federation 2009 holiday figures back up other forecasts.

by Helen Leggatt

Americans will continue to focus on value throughout the holiday season, with traditional and practical gifts the most popular, while retailers also prepare for a frugal festive period.

"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," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin.

However, the decline of 1% in holiday retail industry sales across November and December that the NRF is projecting falls below last year's 3.4% decrease. At the same time, it would be the first time in four decades that holiday sales have dropped two years in a row.

"This is a very realistic view of what's happening in retail," said Scott Krugman, vice president for public affairs for NRF in Washington. "The rate of decline is not so bad, but the reality is this is not a consumer-led recovery and the consumer is not back yet."

Tags: holidays, National Retail Federation, retail, retail sales, shopping

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