$586.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
NRF’s 2012 holiday forecast is higher
than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent. Actual
holiday sales in 2011 grew 5.6 percent.
"This is the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the
recession. In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and
among consumers, we believe we’ll see solid holiday sales growth this
year," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Variables including an
upcoming presidential election, confusion surrounding the ‘fiscal cliff’
and concern relating to future economic growth could all combine to
affect consumers’ spending plans, but overall we are optimistic that
retailers promotions will hit the right chord with holiday shoppers."
government data released shows a crosscurrent of indicators that could
impact holiday sales, including unimpressive job and income growth and
an unemployment rate stuck at eight percent. However, positive
indicators are emerging that show a cautious but capable consumer, such
as increases in confidence and home prices.
compared to what we experienced the last two holiday seasons, the
forecast is a very pragmatic look at what to expect this year given the
current rate of economic growth,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack
Kleinhenz, Ph.D. “There’s still some general anxiety amongst consumers
when it comes to how the state of the economy is impacting their
spending plans, but retailers can expect to see excitement around their
promotions and plenty of bargain hunters both online and in stores in
the coming months.”
NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an
economic model using several indicators including consumer confidence,
consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail
sales releases. It now includes the non-store category
(direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales.) For historic sales
information visit NRF’s Holiday Headquarters.
Shop.org Forecasts Online Holiday Sales to Grow 12 Percent Over Last Holiday Season
for the first time in its history today released its 2012 online
holiday sales forecast, expecting sales to grow 12 percent over last
holiday season to as much as $96 billion.*** The U.S. Department of
Commerce estimates total 2011 4th Quarter e-commerce sales increased 15
percent. Shop.org defines the holiday season as sales in the months of
November and December.
“Online retail has been a bright spot for
years and we don’t expect that trend to change anytime soon, especially
with the growth in mobile,” stated Shay. “Aside from the convenience,
shoppers look to the holiday season to take advantage of retailers’
increased digital offerings. In addition to enhancing the site
experience, retailers have spent the year investing in optimizing their
mobile and social platforms, just what holiday shoppers are looking
-NRF Forecasts Seasonal Employment to Grow Between 585,000
and 625,000-According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between
585,000 and 625,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, which is
comparable to the 607,500 seasonal employees they hired last year.
retail industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs every holiday
season by adding new staff in stores, distribution centers, and customer
service departments across the country. In addition to the newly
created jobs, many retailers also offer existing staff the opportunity
to work longer hours if they want,” said Shay. “New jobs help people
support their families, and for some, seasonal employment can turn into a
career opportunity once the holidays have passed.”