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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 22, 2019

Forecast: Halloween, Holiday shopping a mixed bag

Costumes and candy will add up for merchants and brands over the next week. That's a key takeaway from the National Retail Federation's Halloween forecast, which suggests party-goers will spend nearly $9 billion through October 31.

by Kristina Knight

On average, shoppers are expected to spend about $86, with many going online to find inspiration for their buys. Americans are expected to spend $3 billion on costumes, $2.6 billion on candy, and about $2.7 billion on decorations.

These numbers are down just a bit from 2018, when the Halloween spend hit $9 billion.
"Spending hasn't changed much over the past few years, but we are seeing a noticeable increase in consumers whose Halloween purchases are inspired by their friends, neighbors and even celebrities on social media," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Retailers expect to have another strong Halloween season and have stocked up on candy, decorations and the season's most popular costumes."

With just over a week until kids go trick-or-treating and adults indulge in a costume parties, many retailers are already turning their focus to the holiday season. But, the shortened shopping season may not be as lucrative to retailers as in the past.

The days between American Thanksgiving and Christmas day are the nearly the shortest possible, and this shortened cycle will likely have an impact on retailers, both online and offline. That's a key takeaway from the National Retail Federation's 2019 holiday shopping forecast which predicts only a 3-4% (YoY) increase in sales overall.

"The U.S. economy is continuing to grow and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth," Shay said. "Nonetheless, there has clearly been a slowdown brought on by considerable uncertainty around issues including trade, interest rates, global risk factors and political rhetoric.  Consumers are in good financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season. However, confidence could be eroded by continued deterioration of these and other variables."

Likely retail sales will reach about $730 billion. The bright spot will be ecommerce. According to the NRF, digital and mobile retail will likely increase 11% YoY to reach at least $162 billion.

"There are probably very few precedents for this uncertain macroeconomic environment," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "There are many moving parts and lots of distractions that make predictions difficult. There is significant economic unease, but current economic data and the recent momentum of the economy show that we can expect a much stronger holiday season than last year. Job growth and higher wages mean there's more money in families' pockets, so we see both the willingness and ability to spend this holiday season."

One more bright spot? Jobs. The NRF believes seasonal hiring will provide jobs for more than 530,000 people.

Tags: 2019 halloween forecast, 2019 holiday forecast, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, mcommerce trends, mobile marketing, National Retail Federation, retail trends

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