Holiday PredictionsOctober 25, 12
As the holiday season fast approaches, there is one thing there is definitely not a shortage of: predictions about the upcoming holiday season.
Tracking companies, retail groups and individual websites are all eager to get their forecasts in before the shopping season gets underway in earnest, which will not be until after Thanksgiving in the
The National Retail Federation is calling for a small bump of 4 percent in store sales in the
Others, however, are a little less optimistic. Mall trade group the International Council of Shopping Centers is predicting a growth of just 2.9 percent at
Looking at the analysis, it’s amazing how many factors there are to take into account when it comes to making accurate predictions. This year, for example, the
"There is a certain optimism on the part of voters that carries over into their retail spending habits,” he says. Consumer confidence should rise in the days immediately following the election." We can only hope he is right.
Another bright spot this year is that Thanksgiving falls on November 22 this year, so the shopping season will be 32 days long –the longest possible. Next year, on the other hand, there will be just 26 shopping days, which is something retailers should already start thinking about as they plan their sales tactics.
Not only does a long shopping season enhance retail sales, so too does the day on which Christmas falls – this year it happens to be a Tuesday. Liuzzo says that retailers like Christmas to fall on a Sunday or Monday because it fuels shopping the weekend immediately before the holiday. "This means that there will be a full five weekends of shopping," says the professor, who also gives his stamp of approval to a Tuesday holiday.
However, it’s not all good news. Liuzzo tempers his optimism with the following, “Despite the fact that consumers indeed desire to spend much more this year than they did last year, they might be unable to do so, due to the continued high rate of unemployment, fears of job losses, extremely modest wage increases, the depressed housing market and uncertainty in stock prices.”
Since – despite the best of predictions – all we can do is wait and see how events turn out, remember that no matter what happens this holiday shopping season, the best things you could wish for are family, friends a health – oh yes, and an upsurge in jewelry buying!
Edahn Golan will be back next week.