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Holiday retail industry sales to decline 1% this year, NRF

06
Oct '09
The National Retail Federation released its 2009 holiday forecast, projecting holiday retail industry sales to decline one percent this year to $437.6 billion. While this number falls significantly below the ten-year average of 3.39 percent holiday season growth, the decline is not expected to be as dramatic as last year's 3.4 percent drop in holiday retail sales nor as severe as the 3.0 percent decline in annual retail industry sales expected for all of 2009.

“As the global economy continues to recover from the worst economic crisis most retailers have ever seen, Americans will focus primarily on practical gifts and shop on a budget this holiday season,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells.

Though some hopeful signs of a recovery have begun to emerge, like better-than-expected sales in August and momentum in the stock market, continued consumer uncertainty over job security and housing values will take a toll on spending this holiday season. And, as retailers become even more promotional, certain popular holiday categories like apparel and electronics may experience deflation due to aggressive sales.

“The expectation of another challenging holiday season does not come as news to retailers, who have been experiencing a pullback in consumer spending for over a year,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “To compensate, retailers' focus on the holiday season has been razor-sharp with companies cutting back as much as possible on operating costs in order to pass along aggressive savings and promotions to customers.”

For more insight on what to expect this holiday season, join NRF for a media briefing today at 1 pm ET with Pam Goodfellow, Senior Analyst at BIGresearch. On the call, Pam will present recent survey data including consumer confidence, credit card spending, and a 90-day financial outlook. In addition, NRF's Ellen Davis will provide an overview of NRF's holiday forecast and discuss upcoming research and resources available to reporters during the holiday season. Register now.

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services.

National Retail Federation


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