The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts this year’s holiday retail sales to increase by 3-4% over last year, which saw sales reach $655.8 billion. The holiday season of Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Cyber Monday through Christmas accounts for 30-40% of total retail sales for the year. Retail expert Jan Kniffen told CNBC this weekend that online retail sales should grow another 20% this year. Traffic in malls was down 9% over the weekend, and many shoppers tended to showroom, looking at products live in the stores, but then ordering online for a better deal. Economist Diane Swonk also reported to the news network’s “Trading Nation” that millennials are continuing to harm brick and mortar retail stores by increasing online shopping, which she predicts will hit 50% of retail sales soon. The NRF reports those young shoppers are spending their money on apparel, electronics, books, music and video games. Home improvement retail still is going strong in stores, though, as they are investing in DIY projects for repairs and remodeling. Those DIY items tend to need in-store experiences to look at the products before buying them.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) annual holiday spending survey results were released, with a promising outlook for the holiday retail spending season. Consumers surveyed reported they expect to spend an average of $967.13 this year, up 3.4% from last year. Online shopping was listed by consumers as the #1 shopping destination for the first time ever, listed so by 59% of those surveyed. The NRF also noted it expects retail sales in November and December to be up by almost 4% over last year, for a total between $678 billion and $682 billion.
The survey also reports that gift cards remain the #1 popular item on wish lists. This is followed by clothing and accessories at 55%, which is the highest level that category has seen in over a decade. Other popular categories include consumer electronics at 33%, home décor at 24% and home improvement items at 18%. While 59% will shop online, 57% say they will shop at a department store, 54% at a discount store and 35% at a clothing or accessories store.
The survey showed that with regard to holiday spending only 27% are concerned about the impact of the nation’s economy, which is down 32% from last year.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the University of Florida announced it survey results of its National Retail Security Survey last week. Inventory shrink rose to $48.9 billion in 2016, from $45.2 billion in 2015. Thefts totaled 1.44% of sales, up from 1.38%. Retailers surveyed shared that 48.8% of them reported increases in inventory shrink. Shoplifting and organized crime made up 35.6% of the shrink, while employee theft/internal made up 30%. Shoplifting averaged $798.48 per incident, more than double 2015. The rise is attributed to smaller budgets for security and loss prevention. The rest was made up of administrative error and vendor fraud or error. Another important reason to have accurate inventory reports at the item/store level to track inventory anomalies, recognize shrink sooner, and maintain accurate inventory levels of what is available to purchase in the stores. For the first time, retailers were asked in the survey about return fraud, which reported an average loss of $1766.27.