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According to its 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast: More Mediocre,
Despite sluggish retail sales over the past year, FTI Consulting’s Retail & Consumer Product experts believe online sales will continue to grow at a double-digit rate for the next several years. Their findings are included in FTI's report entitled 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast: More Mediocre.
The online channel’s share of total retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline) is now approaching 11 percent compared with 7.4 percent in 2010. The online channel also accounts for approximately 15 percent of General Merchandise, Apparel and Accessories, Furniture and Other Sales (“GAFO”) category spending during the holiday season. FTI Consulting believes that nearly three-quarters of the growth in sales will accrue to the online channel. The continued momentum of the online channel is led by mobile devices, which are today a driving force in holiday shopping.
“While we approach the 2014 holiday season with a fair degree of caution, we believe the online channel remains the juggernaut of the season for many retailers,” said Steve Coulombe, senior managing director and co-leader of the Retail & Consumer Products practice. “We have slightly increased our forecast for online sales compared to a year ago due to the growing potential of this channel. In this millennial age, mobile devices, and particularly tablets, have in a short time revolutionized consumers’ approach to online shopping. While the online channel will give retailers a much needed boost in sales, it leaves minimal opportunities for brick and mortars to match that success.”
While Cyber Monday is often thought of as a milestone day for online sales, FTI Consulting’s report also touches on the growing influence of the month of January for retailers. Prompted by the spillover of spending from holiday gift card redemption, January remains the strongest month for online shopping relative to total monthly retail sales. This trend has strengthened in recent years.
The 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast considers GAFO retail sales and non-store sales for November 2014 through January 2015, and projects a 3.5 percent increase in nominal holiday sales this season. The forecast was compiled by experts in FTI Consulting’s Retail & Consumer Products practice who have expertise in corporate finance, strategic, operational improvement, liquidity management and turnaround and restructuring services.
Source: FTI Consulting Inc.
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