U.S. Retailers On Pace For Best Holiday Season In Years

by MR Magazine Staff

Surging online orders and last-minute shoppers helped retailers make up for a slow start to the holiday-shopping season, fueling hopes that higher wages, the rising stock market, and lower food and gas prices prompted Americans to spend more. Estimates from retail research firms suggest sales growth in the period—which spans from Nov. 1 to the end of December—could outpace that of recent years. “American consumers are once again proving many of the pundits wrong, as shoppers flock both to websites and to stores—and not just for returns,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a New Canaan, Conn.-based research firm. “They are shopping at a rate not seen since the mid-2000s.” The firm raised its holiday-sales growth forecast to 4.9% from an initial estimate of 4.1% growth. That pace, according to the firm, would be the fastest growth rate since a 6.1% increase in 2005. Customer Growth Partners’ forecasts—which excludes auto, car parts, fuel and restaurant sales—are based on a weekly in-house survey of retailers across the country combined with broader economic indicators and historical data. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.