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Sales Will Rise This Holiday, Retail Group Predicts

Nov 24, 2020 5:56 AM   By Rapaport News
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecast strong growth in US holiday sales, as consumers look for something to celebrate even as coronavirus cases rise.

Retail sales in November and December are forecast to advance 3.6% to 5.2% year on year, for a total of between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion, the organization noted Monday. The average increase over the past five years was 3.5%, while sales in 2019 rose 4% to $729.1 billion.

“We know this holiday season will be unlike any other, and retailers have planned ahead by investing billions of dollars to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year.”

Online and other non-store sales will climb 20% to 30% to a total of between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion, up from $168.7 billion a year ago.

Sales this season will benefit from stimulus payments the government distributed earlier in the year, the NRF noted. In addition, consumers are expected to reroute spending from energy costs, personal services, travel and entertainment.

“After all they’ve been through, we think there’s going to be a psychological factor that they owe it to themselves and their families to have a better-than-normal holiday,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “There are risks to the economy if the virus continues to spread, but as long as consumers remain confident and upbeat, they will spend for the holiday season.”

While there is still uncertainty about how the pandemic will affect brick-and-mortar stores over the holidays, the NRF remains optimistic.

“We expect a strong finish to the holiday season, and will continue to work with municipal and state officials to keep retailers open and the economy moving forward at this critical time,” Shay added.

Image: A woman buying gifts for the holidays. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Coronavirus, COVID-19, holiday sales, Jack Kleinhenz, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, Rapaport News, US Holiday Sales
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