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Modest forecast for holiday sales
October 7th, 2013
NEW YORK – Retailers shouldn’t have high hopes for holiday sales growth, which likely will be slim to moderate, according to two retail sales forecasts.
Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution practice pegs November through January holiday sales (excluding automobiles and fuel) at $963 billion to $967 billion, a year-over-year gain of 4% to 4.5%, in line with last year’s 4.5% increase.
In addition, Deloitte estimates a 12.5% to 13% rise in nonstore sales, about 75% of which come from online channels, catalogues and interactive television. Mobile-influenced retail store sales will account for 8% of holiday retail sales, Deloitte predicted.
"Shoppers researching their purchases electronically — via their PC, tablet or mobile phone — are increasingly influencing in-store sales," explained Alison Paul, vice chairman at Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution sector leader.
Meanwhile, ShopperTrak predicts retail sales of general merchandise, apparel, and accessories, furniture and other sales (GAFO) to edge up 2.4%, less than the 3% gain last year.
Still, shoppers are expected to visit fewer stores this holiday season, and customer traffic is forecast to dip 1.4%, after a 2.5% uptick in the 2012 holiday season.
"Although the economy continues to recover slowly, consumers remain cautious about spending and are not ready to splurge," observed Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak.