By Ryan Velez
People are already beginning to prepare for the 2017 holiday season, and Black Enterprise reports that there are plenty of trends for retailers to be happy about. The National Retail Federation is anticipating sales for November and December at $678.75 billion to $682 billion, representing a gain of 3.6% to 4% from last year. The figures exclude sales from automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants.
Along with the NRF’s analysis of current trends, it also looks at shopping trends from the previous year, and there are a few interesting trends to make note of. For one, African-Americans and younger people are more likely to splurge on themselves during the holiday season, if trends hold from last year. About 71% of consumers overall said they made at least one purchase to treat themselves over the holidays, but this number jumps to 93% among Gen Z shoppers and 84% for African-Americans.
Black shoppers also tend to research holiday gift ideas earlier in the season. 63% said that they research holiday gifts as early as October, versus 54% of consumers overall. Most shoppers wait until November at the earliest. In addition, television is a more influential source of gift inspiration during the holidays. On top of brick-and-mortar outlets, retailers without them stand to do even better. NRF projects them to climb between 11% and 15%, totaling $137.7 billion to $142.6 billion.
“Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay stated. “Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season.”
Part of the reason why this is so important for retailers is that holiday sales can be up to 30% of a retailer’s annual sales. This year, a few other factors will also work in favor of the companies. For one, there will be one extra day between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year. Christmas also falls on a Monday, giving people an extra weekend day to wrap up their shopping.
“Consumers continue to do the heavy lifting in supporting our economy, and all the fundamentals are aligned for them to continue doing so during the holidays,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz stated. “The combination of job creation, improved wages, tame inflation and an increase in net worth all provide the capacity and the confidence to spend.”