The season is being led by online shopping and early holiday sales, which the report defined as the three-week period that runs until Black Friday, a period which grew 2.2 percent from last year.
The report said that “predictive power is not great” when consideration of the 2018 season is put into account because that season was healthy until late December, when it softened. The report said year-over-year sales, however, should be stronger.
“Translating our data into the official numbers derived from the Census Bureau, we would not be surprised if we end up seeing total holiday sales up as much as 4 percent,” Bank of America said in the report dated Wednesday (Dec. 4).
Economist Michelle Meyer led the group of analysts who performed the study, and she said more consumers were moving toward online shopping instead of concentrating as much at spending specifically on Black Friday. Early purchases were up 14 percent from last year, and shopping at traditional retailers was up 2 percent.
In other holiday shopping news, Walmart had the No. 1 shopping app in the U.S. for the first time ever.
The app previously peaked at No. 6 during Thanksgiving out of all apps in all categories. Walmart was also the most installed shopping app in the App Store on Black Friday with about 113,000 new downloads, a year-over-year increase of 23 percent.
This is also the first year that Amazon’s app didn’t top the list, although it was a close second with 102,000 first-time downloads, a 10 percent decrease from the previous year.
The remainder of the top 10 was rounded out by Target, Best Buy, GOAT, Nike, Kohl’s, Wish, Macy’s and Adidas. All 10 apps showed growth of 11 percent year over year, for a total of 527,000 downloads. The shopping category as a whole saw the most downloads since its inception in 2015, at 28.8 percent of all downloads.