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NRF forecast: Holiday sales could hit as much as $720.89 billion
Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, NRF expects holiday retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — will increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion. The forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past five years.
Holiday sales during November and December 2017 increased 5.5 percent over the same period in 2016 to $691.9 billion as growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence led consumers to spend more than had been expected. The results exceeded NRF’s forecast of between $678.75 billion and $682 billion. December alone was up 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November and up 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday weekend. The most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday, cited by 77 million consumers, followed by Small Business Saturday with 55 million consumers.
See more highlights in the 2017 Holiday slideshow.
- 2017 holiday retail sales exceed NRF forecast
- Consumers and retailers win big over Thanksgiving holiday
- November survey: Young adults are spending more this holiday season
- 164 million consumers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend
- October consumer survey points to busy holiday season
- 2017 forecast: Holiday sales expected to grow between 3.6 and 4 percent
- December survey: Holiday shoppers rushing to meet deadline
- Retail Holiday Planning Playbook
The 2016 Holiday season was full of surprises. The start of the season coincided with the U.S. presidential election and consumers seemed initially cautious about their spending plans. However, once the election had passed, shoppers fully embraced the holiday spirit. Total holiday retail sales during November and December increased 4 percent over 2015, exceeding NRF’s initial forecast of $655.8 billion. For the second year in a row, Barbie topped the toy list for girls while Legos continued to lead the list for boys. In addition to spending on gifts for friends, family members and co-workers, consumers also use the season to pick up non-gift items. Nearly two-thirds of consumers planned to take advantage of the 2016 holiday sales to splurge on something extra for themselves or their families. See more highlights in the 2016 Holiday slideshow.
The 2015 holiday season provided tough obstacles for the retail industry including weather and inventory challenges. Average spending per person during the holiday season was over $800 for the second year in a row, with more than half of shoppers splurging on non-gift items for themselves. Barbie was back in the number one spot on the Top Toys list after falling behind Disney’s Frozen in 2014, following an 11-year reign.
Small businesses have a distinct advantage: They’re agile and can adapt to changing conditions throughout the holiday season. In 2015, one in four holiday shoppers planned to purchase from small or local retailers. NRF's report offers a look at survey data to see how consumers who planned to “shop small” differed from the average shopper. Download the report.
Related press releases:
- 2015 Holiday Sales Increased 3 percent to 626.1 Billion
- October 2015 Consumer Spending Survey
- November 2015 Consumer Spending Survey Update
- 2015 Gift Cards Survey
- 2015 Top Toys
- 2015 Thanksgiving Weekend Results
- 2015 Cyber Monday Consumer Spending Expectations
- 2015 Return Fraud Survey
- December 2015 Final Consumer Spending Survey Update
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RT @SpeakerRyan: Another 💪 week for our economy: ✔ Consumer confidence: 1️⃣7️⃣-year high ✔ Unemployment claims near 5️⃣0️⃣-year low ✔ Holid…2 weeks ago