NEW YORK — Retailers should expect the upcoming holiday shopping season to be a bit better than last year’s, according to a forecast by Deloitte LLP.
Retailers should expect the upcoming holiday shopping season to be a bit better than last year’s, according to a forecast by Deloitte LLP.
Deloitte’s retail group projects total holiday sales to reach $852 billion. That figure for November through January holiday retail sales, excluding cars and gasoline, represents a 2% increase over last season. That would be a slight improvement over last year’s 1% gain.
"Sustained weakness in the housing and employment markets continues to restrict consumer cash flow," says Deloitte chief economist Carl Steidtmann. "Given the unsteady pace of economic recovery, retailers should expect only a small uptick in holiday sales this year."
Deloitte is also predicting that online retailing will be a bright spot this holiday season. The firm expects nonstore retail sales (two-thirds of which involve the online channel) to increase 15%.
"Online activity may also influence in-store shopping this holiday season, as social networks and mobile applications are playing a more prominent role in the shopping process," says Alison Paul, vice chairman and Deloitte’s retail sector leader in the United States.
Retailers who use digital tools to reach consumers may be able to build awareness, store traffic and sales during the holiday season, Paul notes.