Tags: nrf | Retailers | Holiday | Sales

Retailers’ Holiday Sales Poised to Rise Most in 4 Years

Wednesday, 06 Oct 2010 03:49 PM

U.S. holiday retail sales will climb 2.3 percent, for the best season in four years, as customers lured by promotions purchase apparel and electronics, the National Retail Federation said.

The increase in retail sales to $447.1 billion in November and December will be the biggest since a 3.1 percent gain in 2006, the Washington-based trade group said. Holiday sales rose 0.4 percent last year after a 3.9 percent drop in 2008.

Consumers have begun buying again as the economy has recovered, after cutting expenses during the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Retailers, which have controlled inventories and made supply chains more efficient, will use planned promotions to drive sales, NRF President Matthew Shay said.

“The season is hopeful because we are positioned in a much better place than we were over the last two years,” Shay said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We’re headed in the right direction. We are hoping for a sustained economic recovery.”

Sales growth for the winter holidays, typically the biggest shopping season for U.S. retailers, will remain lower than the average 2.5 percent gain this decade, according to NRF data.

The world’s largest economy expanded at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter, a slowdown compared with the previous two quarters, the Commerce Department said Sept. 30.

“People want to feel during the holiday, at least temporarily, that things have returned to normal,” Shay said. “That’s a time when an emotional purchase almost feels like a necessity.”

Best Since 2006

The NRF uses the commerce department’s retail sales figures excluding auto, gasoline and restaurant sales.

The International Council of Shopping Centers, another trade group, said Oct. 1 that U.S. retailers’ sales at stores open at least a year will climb 3 percent to 3.5 percent this holiday season, the best performance since 2006.

That gain for November and December is consistent with the year-to-date climb of 3.5 percent, Mike Niemira, the ICSC’s chief economist, said at the time. His New York-based trade group tracks more than 30 chains.

Retail sales in November and December account for 20 percent to 40 percent of U.S. retailers’ annual revenue, according to the NRF. The 2009 fourth quarter accounted for almost all of Macy’s Inc.’s profit that year.

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U.S. holiday retail sales will climb 2.3 percent, for the best season in four years, as customers lured by promotions purchase apparel and electronics, the National Retail Federation said.The increase in retail sales to $447.1 billion in November and December will be the...
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2010-49-06
Wednesday, 06 Oct 2010 03:49 PM
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