"Economic headwinds nagging consumers this fall include stubbornly high gasoline prices that continue to creep up and soft housing and job markets," said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte's chief economist. "While consumers turned out in the summer to give retailers solid gains for a few months, that pace may be difficult to sustain through the end of the year. Consumers and businesses alike may pause in advance of the election; however, retailers may benefit from a post-election consumer spending boost."
Deloitte's retail and distribution practice expects total holiday sales to climb to between $920bn and $925bn, representing a 3.5-percent to 4-percent increase in November through January holiday sales when compared to last year. While that is a respectable increase, it is below last year's growth rate of 5.9 percent.
Additionally, Deloitte forecasts a 15-percent to 17-percent increase in non-store sales, which is primarily attributable to e-commerce. Nearly three quarters of non-store sales result from the online channel with additional sales coming from catalogs and interactive TV.
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