US holiday sales to rise as much as 10.5 percent. Shutterstock.
US holiday sales could rise over 10 percent this year, a trade body said on Wednesday, as major consumer goods makers and retailers work to prevent supply chain disruptions from leaving shelves empty of in-demand toys and games.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecast sales to increase between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent, to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, during November and December, compared with a previous high of $777.3 billion last year.
Rising income and household savings have never been stronger and would help people pay more for goods at a time when companies have raised prices to deal with inflation, the NRF said. It added there is exceptional demand for holiday products this year, although a survey last week had showed customers were worried about availability.
“If retailers can keep merchandise on the shelves and merchandise arrives before Christmas, it could be a stellar holiday sales season,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said.
NRF also said the arrival of international travellers would further drive sales higher.
“That’s going to give a jolt to the retail side, because there is a high correlation between international travellers and tourism in the US, and retail sales,” NRF President Matthew Shay told reporters.
Several retailers had also begun their holiday selling as early as September, warning their customers their favourite items could sell out or delivery could take longer than usual.
“There may be some categories in which there will be some shortages or which consumers will need to do some switching or trading… they won’t go home empty-handed,” Shay said.
Amazon.com Inc has secured more shipping storage, while Levi Strauss & Co and Crocs Inc have been redirecting their goods to come in through East Coast ports, away from the congested West Coast.
By Praveen Paramasivam; Editor: Krishna Chandra Eluri
How Brands Are Convincing Shoppers to Spend Early This Holiday Season
Retailers like Target, Walmart, PacSun, Gap and Ulta are kicking off marketing campaigns or sale promotions earlier than ever in an attempt to avoid supply chain woes that could dampen holiday cheer and sales performance.