Entries in NRF (5)


NRF Forecasts Holiday Sales Increase of 2.8%

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The National Retail Federation has announced some positive economic news on Thursday, forecasting a holiday sales increase of 2.8 percent, to $365.6 billion.

Although the numbers are still significantly lower than the 5.2-percent increase retailers experienced last year, the report remains encouraging.

“Retailers are optimistic that a combination of strong promotions and lean inventory levels will help them address consumer caution this holiday season,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While businesses remain concerned over the viability of the economic recovery, there is no doubt that the retail industry is in a better position this year to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008 and 2009.”

According to the NRF, retailers are also expected to hire an estimated 480,000-500,000 seasonal employees this year. This is actually quite comparable to the 495,000 employees hired last year.

Although there have been 14 consecutive months of retail sales growth, continued consumer uncertainty over the stock market, jobs and food and gas prices remain. These concerns are expected to affect the holiday season’s spending statistics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chaos at the Mall as Post-Holiday Shopping Season Begins

Image Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Even before Christmas Day was over, the post-holiday push was under way. Retailers spent Christmas blitzing shoppers with email, desperate to keep a good thing going.

If sales continue to be strong over the next week, this holiday shopping season could be the best ever, despite the bad economy. Americans in 2007 spent a record $453 billion on holiday shopping. After a two-year dip, the numbers this year are creeping back.

The National Retail Federation predicts seasonal sales will top $451 billion dollars – a jump of more than 3 percent over last year.

So what’s the best strategy for post-Christmas shopping? Experts say consumers should check the web before checking the stores. Shoppers have spent more than $36 billion buying online this season, driven by discounts and free shipping – offers that continue this week, meaning you may not even have to brave the stores to get the best deal.

Getting people into the stores over the next few days is a big concern for retailers. Analysts are worried that bad weather across the country could keep people away and seriously impact stores’ bottom lines as retailers close out their holiday shopping seasons.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Record Season for Holiday Shopping?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Believe it or not, this holiday shopping season could be one for the record books.

"We're seeing that the consumer really has a bit of strength left,” said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse. “People are still going still out and spending on discretionary things.  On things they don't necessarily need.”

Struggling since the record 2007 shopping season, holiday sales shot back this year.  Americans spent more than $451 billion this year, a number that continued to grow late Friday night.

The biggest boost to sales totals this year came from online shopping. Consumers spent $36 billion online this year, as more shoppers stayed at home to buy.

The National Retail Federation upped its holiday forecast from a 2.3 percent rise in spending to 3.3 percent earlier this month, citing a strong start to the season.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Number of Shoppers, Average Spending Up Black Friday Weekend

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A trade group that represents the nation’s big chain stores and some local retailers says shopping over the Black Friday weekend has shown improvement over last year.

Estimates from the National Retail Federation indicate that some 212 million shoppers will have visited the nation’s stores between Thursday and Sunday, up from 195 million last year.

The NRF says it believes the average spent by consumers increased as well, up 6.4 percent to $365.34. Total spending topped $45 billion, according to the group.

“While Black Friday weekend is not always an indicator of holiday season performance, retailers should be encouraged that a focus on value and discretionary gifts has shoppers in the spirit to spend,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


National Retail Federation Expects Holiday Gift Spending to Increase

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The National Retail Federation predicts overall holiday spending this year to increase by 2.3 percent compared to 2009 and reach $447 billion. Overall sales increased slightly last year and were down 3.9 percent in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.

“Consumers will still shop with the economy in the back of their minds, but we’re starting to see shoppers take baby steps toward a new normal,” says Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.

Though the NRF believes the current state of the economy will weigh on most Americans' minds, there are ways by which retailers can entice consumers to spend.  Consumers tell the retail trade group that they’re looking to maximize their holiday spending by looking for discounts, using coupons and doing comparison shopping online and with their smartphones.

NRF says the most popular categories for gifts remain clothing and books, CDs and DVDs.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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