Loading...

Retailers Predict Healthy Holiday Sales Despite Inflation

November 3, 2022 by Dan McCue
Retailers Predict Healthy Holiday Sales Despite Inflation
Macy's in New York City. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — Holiday retail sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% compared to last year, and come in somewhere in excess of $942.6 billion despite stubbornly persistent inflation woes, the National Retail Federation said on Thursday.

Last year’s holiday sales grew 13.5% over 2020 and totaled $889.3 billion, shattering previous records. 

On average, holiday retail sales have increased 4.9% over the past 10 years, with pandemic spending in recent years accounting for considerable gains.

“While consumers are feeling the pressure of inflation and higher prices, and while there is continued stratification with consumer spending and behavior among households at different income levels, consumers remain resilient and continue to engage in commerce,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay during a conference call with reporters. 

“In the face of these challenges, many households will supplement spending with savings and credit to provide a cushion and result in a positive holiday season,” he said.

The National Retail Federation expects online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, to increase between 10% and 12% to between $262.8 billion and $267.6 billion. 

This figure is up from $238.9 billion last year, which saw extraordinary growth in digital channels as consumers turned to online shopping to meet their holiday needs during the pandemic. 

While e-commerce will remain important, households are also expected to shift back to in-store shopping and a more traditional holiday shopping experience.

“This holiday season cycle is anything but typical,” said the federation’s chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz. 

“NRF’s holiday forecast takes a number of factors into consideration, but the overall outlook is generally positive as consumer fundamentals continue to support economic activity,” he said. “Despite record levels of inflation, rising interest rates and low levels of confidence, consumers have been steadfast in their spending and remain in the driver’s seat.”

Kleinhenz also noted what anyone who has been in a retail store lately has witnessed for themselves — that this year’s holiday shopping season started earlier this year, and that retailers responded to that demand by scheduling their first holiday sales not long after their back-to-school sales had ended.

“While this may result in some sales being pulled forward, we expect to see continued deals and promotions throughout the remaining months,” Kleinhenz said.

This year, given concerns around inflation, 46% of holiday shoppers said they planned to browse or buy before November, according to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

Still, consumers plan to spend $832.84 on average on gifts and holiday items such as decorations and food, in line with the average for the last 10 years.

NRF expects retailers will hire between 450,000 and 600,000 seasonal workers. That compares with roughly 669,800 seasonal hires in 2021.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and @DanMcCue

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

January 27, 2023
by Dan McCue
‘Resilient Communities’ Breakfast Jumpstarts Conversation on the Modern Economy

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed... Read More

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed the early morning crowd gathered to hear her and other speakers at Charlie Palmer Steak. “It’s seldom, at least in my experience, that you get a... Read More

As US Nears Debt Limit, Political Frictions Raising Alarms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default is in the offing — with frictions between President Joe Biden... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default is in the offing — with frictions between President Joe Biden and House Republicans raising alarms about whether the U.S. can sidestep a potential economic crisis. The Treasury Department projects that the federal government will on Thursday reach its... Read More

Elon Musk Depicted as Liar, Visionary in Tesla Tweet Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular... Read More

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular people" or a well-intentioned visionary as attorneys delivered opening statements at a trial focused on a Tesla buyout that never happened. Lawyers on opposing sides drew... Read More

Job Cuts in Tech Sector Spread, Microsoft Lays Off 10,000

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era... Read More

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era expansions. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the layoffs were a response to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities.” The company said it... Read More

At Davos, UN Chief Warns the World Is in a 'Sorry State'

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The world is in a “sorry state" because of myriad interlinked challenges including climate change and... Read More

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The world is in a “sorry state" because of myriad interlinked challenges including climate change and Russia's war in Ukraine that are “piling up like cars in a chain reaction crash,” the U.N. chief said at the World Economic Forum's meeting Wednesday. U.N. Secretary-General... Read More

US Inflation Eases Grip on Economy, Falling for a 6th Month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rising U.S. consumer prices moderated again last month, bolstering hopes that inflation’s grip on the economy will... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rising U.S. consumer prices moderated again last month, bolstering hopes that inflation’s grip on the economy will continue to ease this year and possibly require less drastic action by the Federal Reserve to control it. Inflation declined to 6.5% in December compared with a... Read More

News From The Well