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BizReport : Ecommerce : September 26, 2010

Deloitte: Online will drive small uptick in holiday sales

Retailers can expect a small uptick in sales over the coming holiday period, according to retail group Deloitte, with online shopping again driving the increase. However, retailers should expect online activity to affect in-store behavior.

by Helen Leggatt

deloitte.gifLast year saw a mere 1% gain on the previous year's holiday sales but this year retailers can double that. Deloitte has forecast total sales this holiday season will reach $852 billion - a 2% rise on last year.

Most of that increase will come from non-store sales such as catalog, interactive TV and, of course, online. Of the 15% increase forecast for non-store sales, online will account for two-thirds.

The convenience and cost-saving aspects of online will, once again, drive consumers online. Retailers also need to know that online activity, such as price comparisons, social media, and even mobile, will affect their in-store sales.

"As such, retailers should seek to deliver tightly-integrated and consistent merchandise, inventory and promotional messages to customers moving between web-based and physical storefronts," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and Deloitte's retail sector leader in the United States.

Tags: ecommerce, holiday sales, online spending

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