Retail group expects holiday sales to rise 3.6 to 4 per cent | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Retail group expects holiday sales to rise 3.6 to 4 per cent

In this Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, photo, people stand near an entrance for Nordstrom Inc.'s flagship store in downtown Seattle. In information released Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, the National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday sales for the November and December period to rise between 3.6 percent and 4 percent to $678.75 billion to $682 billion. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
October 03, 2017 - 9:59 AM

NEW YORK - A retail trade group says it expects holiday sales to at least match the 3.6 per cent growth of a year ago, as job creation and improving wages should put shoppers in a mood to spend.

The National Retail Federation said Tuesday it expects sales in November and December to rise 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent, to a range of $678.75 billion to $682 billion. It's the first time the trade group forecast in a range rather than by a fixed percentage, because the impact of several big hurricanes is still uncertain.

So far this year dozens of retail chains have filed for bankruptcy, and hundreds of stores have closed — particularly among those dependent on clothing sales. Toys R Us is reorganizing in bankruptcy as well at a critical time of year. Holiday sales account for nearly 20 per cent of the annual industry sales total.

But online spending is still growing strongly, which accounts for some of the optimism, and some analysts say retailers like dollar chains are still adding locations.

Holiday forecasts from Deloitte, the International Council of Shopping Centers and AlixPartners have come in around the same level, ranging from growth of 3.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent. PwC predicts that holiday spending will rise 6 per cent, but that estimate includes travel and entertainment. Other holiday forecasts exclude restaurants and travel.

The NRF forecast — which considers economic indicators such as consumer credit, disposable personal income and monthly retail sales — excludes sales from autos, gas and restaurants but includes online spending and other non-store sales like those from catalogues. It estimates that online spending and other non-store sales will rise 11 per cent to 15 per cent.

More and more sales are moving online, and internet leader Amazon is increasingly exerting its influence over a huge part of the retailing world.

Credit Suisse believes that there could be 8,640 store closings this year, which would surpass the 2008 peak of 6,200. But retail research group IHL says retailers are opening about 1,300 more stores in 2017 than they are closing. That's according to its report that reviewed 1,800 retail chains with more than 50 U.S. stores in 10 areas.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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