Holiday spending has the potential to shatter previous records, growing between 8.5-10.5% over 2020 to between $843.4-$859 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). “There is considerable momentum heading into the holiday shopping season,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay says. “Consumers are in a very favorable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger. Retailers are making significant investments in their supply chains and spending heavily to ensure they have products on their shelves to meet this time of exceptional consumer demand.”
- NRF expects that online and other non-store sales will increase between 11-15% to a total of between $218.3-$226.2 billion driven by online purchases.
- NRF expects retailers will hire between 500,000-665,000 seasonal workers in brick-and-mortar stores and warehouse and distribution centers.
“The outlook for the holiday season looks very bright,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz says. “The unusual and beneficial position we find ourselves in is that households have increased spending vigorously throughout most of 2021 and remain with plenty of holiday purchasing power.”
“Pandemic-related supply chain disruptions have caused shortages of merchandise and most of this year’s inflationary pressure,” Kleinhenz adds. “With the prospect of consumers seeking to shop early, inventories may be pulled down sooner and shortages may develop in the later weeks of the shopping season. However, if retailers can keep merchandise on the shelves and merchandise arrives before Christmas, it could be a stellar holiday sales season.”