With strong income growth, increased customer confidence and low unemployment, U.S. holiday sales may top $1 trillion this year. eMarketer noted that the sales may reach $1.002 trillion for the period extending from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 — nearly 6 percent more than 2017, CNBC reported.
As eMarketer Principal Analyst Andrew Lipsman said in a statement, “While eCommerce will continue to see strong double-digit gains, brick-and-mortar retail should be a particular[ly] bright spot this holiday season … retailers are luring in shoppers with remodeled stores, streamlined checkout and options to buy online, pick up in-store.”
That is, in-store sales may see a year-on-year gain of 4.4 percent to top $878.38 billion – a retail industry “bright spot.” Even so, eMarketer noted that eCommerce is expected to be responsible for 12.3 percent of sales. And online retail sales may hit $123.73 billion, which would be a 16.6 percent increase from 2017. At the same time, eMarketer Forecasting Analyst Cindy Liu noted that more perks and promotions, like fast shipping, are to be expected amid competition between Amazon and other eCommerce retailers.
The news comes as a recent survey from the National Retail Federation(NRF) found that consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,007.24 in the upcoming holiday season. The figure marks a 4.1 percent increase from last year, when consumers said they would spend an average of $967.13, the NRF said in a press release.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release in October, “Confidence is near an all-time high, unemployment is the lowest we’ve seen in decades and take-home wages are up. All of that is reflected in consumers’ buying plans.”
At the same time, the NRF noted that tariffs took effect last month on consumer goods from China. However, the foundation said the effect on pricing is expected to be minimal, because retailers imported “record volumes of merchandise” in the summer, prior to the tariffs taking effect. The news also comes as holiday sales for U.S. retailers are expected to increase 4.8 percent this year.