The National Retail Federation expects sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion.
The federation expects overall holiday sales in 2015 to represent approximately 19 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. Online sales are predicted to increase between 6 and 8 percent to as much as $105 billion.
“With several months of solid retail sales behind us, we’re heading into the all-important holiday season fully expecting to see healthy growth,” says NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay. “However, while economic indicators have improved in several areas, Americans remain somewhat torn between their desire and their ability to spend; the fact remains consumers still have the weight of the economy on their minds, further explaining the complex retail spending environment we are seeing right now. We expect families to spend prudently and deliberately, though still less constrained than what we saw even two years ago.”
Potential disruptions the retailers are eying include another possible federal government shutdown in mid-December and a slower pace of job creation and income growth.
“Price, value and timing will all play a role in how, when, where and why people shop over the holiday season. Retailers will be competitive not only on price, but on digital initiatives, store hours and product
NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including, consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales releases. It also includes the non-store category (direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales.)