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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 13, 2014

Forecasts predict strong holiday shopping season

Over the past ten years holiday shopping in the US has been strong - records have been set for ecommerce nearly every year and offline shopping has continued to show steady growth. Some experts predict more of the same this holiday season - more shoppers, more spending but may not a record breaking year.

by Kristina Knight

First, the National Retail Federation is predicting US holiday retail sales will increase just over 4%, numbers that won't set many records, but do indicate a continued strengthening of consumer sentiment. The NRF predicts the total US holiday spend will push $617 billion.

"Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "While expectations for sales growth are upbeat, it goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions. The lagging economic recovery, though improving, is still top of mind for many Americans."

The International Council of Shopping Centers is releasing nearly identical numbers - a 4% increase in spending through the holiday season, with sales at shopping centers - malls, etc. - predicted to surpass the $485 billion mark.

"While consumers are expected to remain focused on price this holiday, the positive momentum of key economic indicators are pointing to consumers who are willing to open their wallets and hit the stores this holiday," said Jesse Tron, spokesperson for ICSC.

According to the ICSC:

• Total shopping center sales will increase 4%
• 6.6% increase in building materials/garden supplies
• 9.8% increase in electronics/appliances sales
• 2.8% increase in apparel/accessories sales
• 4% increase in home furnishings sales

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: 2014 holiday season, ecommerce, holiday ecommerce, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Retail Federation, retail holiday trends

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