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Deep Dive: US Holiday 2017— All Signs Point to “Shop!”

Executive Summary

  • FGRT remains optimistic about the prospects for holiday sales in the US this year and we are forecasting sales growth of 3%–4%. We believe there could be upside to this estimate, given favorable economic conditions, such as an extremely low unemployment rate and benign changes in wages and prices for food and fuel.
  • Our 3%–4% growth estimate for holiday sales this year compares with 4.0% growth last year and an average increase of 2.6% over the last 10 years (based on figures from the National Retail Federation [NRF]). This year, the NRF is forecasting holiday sales growth of 3.6%–4.0%, while estimates from other industry groups average 3.8%.
  • Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas projects that holiday hiring will decline from a year ago, likely owing to store closures. However, the retailers that are reporting seasonal hiring figures expect to increase their holiday hiring by 4.0% this year.
  • E-commerce is expected to continue to gain share of total sales over the holiday season. In the second quarter of 2017, online sales grew by 16.2% and accounted for 8.9% of total retail sales, according to the US Census Bureau.
  • The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) predicts that 68% of consumers will buy electronics this holiday season and that total holiday spending on electronics will increase 15.0%. The top holiday tech gifts include TVs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and videogame consoles.
  • Other popular holiday tech gifts are likely to include the just launched iPhone X (which uses wireless chargers), Apple AirPods, a wide range of Amazon Echo devices, 4K HD TVs and set-top boxes.
  • The calendar this holiday season is favorable for retail sales, as there is one more shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than there was last year and Super Saturday falls two days before Christmas this year.

Click here to read Coresight’s coverage on US holiday retail and gain key retail insights for 2019 and prior years.

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