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Deloitte Predicts Uplift in Holiday Sales

Oct 24, 2019 9:14 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... US retail sales are forecast to increase by up to 5% this holiday season, while e-commerce spending could jump by 18%, Deloitte said Tuesday.

The predictions, initially outlined in the consulting firm’s annual holiday retail forecast, published last month, were reiterated in its latest holiday retail survey report, released earlier this week.

Deloitte expected overall holiday retail sales to increase between 4.5% and 5% this year, according to both documents. E-commerce sales were predicted to fare even better, with the consulting firm anticipating that these would grow between 14% and 18% year on year during the 2019-20 holiday season, compared to an increase of 11% in 2018. This growth is set to result in between $144 billion and $149 billion in e-commerce sales over the season, Deloitte noted.

While the consulting firm’s projections haven’t changed, the results of its annual holiday retail survey paint a less optimistic picture. The poll, which quizzed a national sample of 4,410 people about their spending plans this season, indicated that consumer sentiment remained positive in the short term. However, fewer than 40% of respondents said they expected the economy to improve in 2020 — 13% down on 2018.

This resulted in them being more conservative in their projections for the upcoming holidays, with those surveyed predicting they would spend an average of $1,496 per household over the period. This marks a 2.6% dip on the $1,536 average achieved in 2018.

Despite the caution noted by consumers polled for the survey, both Deloitte and its respondents agreed that e-commerce would grow in importance this year. The survey found that Cyber Monday had eclipsed Black Friday as the most important date in consumers’ holiday-spending calendar. The shift applies to all generations, Deloitte said, observing that 65% of Generation Zers and 61% of millennials had expressed interest in securing an online deal during Cyber Monday.

Deloitte also predicted that high spenders would make a valuable contribution to online sales over the period, based on the survey’s findings. Of the 20% of respondents who intended to spend over $2,101 — and who together account for 60% of all holiday expenditure — nearly two thirds planned to use their smartphones to make those purchases, it noted. This compares to only half for the rest of the population.

Image: A woman shopping for jewelry online during the holidays. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: black friday, cyber monday, deloitte, holiday sales, Rapaport News
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