NRF: Holiday forecast upgraded to 3.8% rise
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The National Retail Federation said Thursday that it has upwardly revised its holiday forecast, now expecting holiday sales to rise 3.8% this year to a record $469.1 billion.
NRF’s initial forecast, announced on October 6, called for anticipated sales growth of 2.8%. While a 3.8% sales increase is considerably above the 10-year average sales increase of 2.6%, it is still lower than the 5.2% increase the retail industry saw last year, said NRF.
“After strong sales reports in October and November, along with a successful Black Friday weekend, retailers are cautiously optimistic that this season will turn out better than initially expected, bringing added stability to our recovering economy at a time when America needs it most,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “However, a number of factors, including the debt crisis in Europe and continued political wrangling in Washington, could impact consumer spending this holiday season and into 2012.”
Green Monday online spending up 19% to $1.13 billion
RESTON, Va. –Data released Wednesday by comScore showed that holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 42 days of the 2011 holiday season is up 15% year-over-year. Through “Green Monday,” Dec. 12, $26.8 billion has been spent online.
The most recent week (week ending Dec. 11) reached a record $6.1 billion in spending, in line with the season-to-date’s 15% growth rate, according to the report.
Green Monday, December 12 – the second Monday in December when online spending has historically tended to peak – reached $1.13 billion in spending, a 19% increase over last year and ranking it as the third heaviest spending day of the season after Cyber Monday ($1.25 billion) and Monday, December 5 ($1.17 billion).
“Green Monday kicks off what should be the heaviest week of the year for online shopping, where we could see several billion dollar spending days, punctuated by Free Shipping Day on Friday, December 16,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
Digital Content & Subscriptions led the top growing online retail categories for season-to-date, with a growth rate more than double that of the online sector as a whole, according to comScore. Jewelry & Watches was the second fastest growing category this season, followed by Consumer Electronics and Video Games and Computer Software.