Holiday sales in November and December will increase between 8.5 and 10.5% compared to last year, according to a study by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
This is compared to a previous high of 8.2% in 2020, itself a record high, and an average growth of 4.4% over the past five years.
The NRF separated “online and other non-store sales” from the total and said it expects them to rise between 11 and 15% to a total of between $218.3 billion and $226.2 billion, driven by online shopping. By comparison, that figure is up from $196.7 billion in 2020. (Online and non-store sales accounted for about 25% of total sales last year).
The NRF said the 2021 forecast of between $843.4 billion and $859 billion in holiday sales excludes car dealerships, gas stations and restaurants.
The NRF even factors the weather into its holiday forecast, based on economic modeling that also factors in employment, wages, consumer confidence, disposable income, consumer credit and previous retail sales.
“Weather is traditionally a factor in vacation sales, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a high likelihood of a La Niña pattern of cooler, wetter weather in the north and warmer, drier weather in the South. This weather phenomenon has been correlated in the past with stronger retail sales and could be a factor in 2021.”
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said: “Retailers are making significant investments in their supply chains and spending heavily to ensure they have products on their shelves to meet this time. exceptional consumer demand.
“Pandemic-related supply chain disruptions have caused commodity shortages and most of the inflationary pressure this year,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. With early buying this year, shortages could develop in the final weeks of the buying season.
“However,” he said, “if retailers can keep merchandise on shelves and merchandise arrives before Christmas, it could be a great holiday sales season.”
NRF defines the holiday season as November 1 through December 31. Check out the full press release with a graph showing historical holiday sales dating back to 2002 on the NRF.com website.