Eco­nomic Tail­winds To Drive Hol­i­day Sales

WWD Digital Daily - - Wwd - BY ARTHUR ZACZKIEWICZ

Low un­em­ploy­ment lev­els along with higher house­hold in­come growth is boost­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence and will drive U.S. hol­i­day sales past the tril­lion-dol­lar mark this sea­son, ac­cord­ing to eMar­keter in the firm’s lat­est fore­cast re­port.

And the bulk of the sales will be driven by trans­ac­tions in phys­i­cal stores.

The com­pany mea­sures hol­i­day sales from Nov. 1 through the end of De­cem­ber. “This hol­i­day sea­son, to­tal re­tail sales in the U. S. will in­crease 5.8 per­cent to $1.002 tril­lion,” eMar­keter re­searchers said in their re­port. “This is the first time hol­i­day sales will cross the $1 tril­lion mark, and 2018 shows the strong­est growth since 2011. Spend­ing mo­men­tum will get an added boost from a fa­vor­able hol­i­day cal­en­dar that fea­tures the max­i­mum 32 days be­tween Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas.”

Drilling down into the fash­ion ap­parel seg­ment, a sep­a­rate in­vest­ment re­search note from Jane Hali & As­so­ci­ates LLC cited out­er­wear, denim and streetwear as top per­form­ers with out­er­wear be­ing the “It” cat­e­gory this hol­i­day sea­son.

In the eMar­keter re­port, the com­pany said although some “eco­nomic head­winds are fi­nally be­gin­ning to form af­ter mostly blue skies in 2018, we ex­pect their ef­fects to be muted un­til af­ter the hol­i­days. Re­tail­ers have built up in­ven­to­ries for prod­ucts af­fected by tar­iffs on im­ports from China and are not ex­pected to pass on notable price in­creases to con­sumers un­til 2019.”

Au­thors of the re­port ex­pect brick-and­mor­tar sales this year to rise 4.4 per­cent

Sales from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 are ex­pected to pass the $1 tril­lion mark, ac­cord­ing to eMar­keter.

to $878.38 bil­lion, which is above the $863 bil­lion es­ti­mate that fore­cast ear­lier this year by the com­pany. “Brick-and-mor­tar still rep­re­sents the ma­jor­ity [87.7 per­cent] of hol­i­day sales, but its share has steadily de­clined,” eMar­keter noted.

The re­port is peg­ging on­line hol­i­day sea­son to gain 16.6 per­cent to $123.73 bil­lion, which is 12.3 per­cent of all hol­i­day sales this year.

An­drew Lips­man, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at eMar­keter, said while e- com­merce will con­tinue to see strong dou­ble- digit gains, “brick-and-mor­tar re­tail should be a par­tic­u­lar bright spot this hol­i­day

A va­ri­ety of Uniqloout­er­wear.

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