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NRF: holiday sales to decline by one per cent


October 6, 2009
By Amanda Ryder

Oct. 6, 2009 – The National Retail Federation today released its 2009
holiday forecast, projecting holiday retail industry sales in the U.S.
to decline one percent this year to $437.6 billion.

Oct. 6, 2009 – The National Retail Federation today released its 2009
holiday forecast, projecting holiday retail industry sales in the U.S.
to decline one per cent this year to $437.6 billion. While this number
falls significantly below the ten-year average of 3.39 per cent holiday
season growth, the decline is not expected to be as dramatic as last
year’s 3.4 per cent drop in holiday retail sales nor as severe as the
3.0 per cent decline in annual retail industry sales expected for all
of 2009.

“As the global economy continues to recover from the worst economic
crisis most retailers have ever seen, Americans will focus primarily on
practical gifts and shop on a budget this holiday season,” said NRF
Chief Economist Rosalind Wells.
 
Though some hopeful signs of a recovery have begun to emerge, like
better-than-expected sales in August and momentum in the stock market,
continued consumer uncertainty over job security and housing values
will take a toll on spending this holiday season. And, as retailers
become even more promotional, certain popular holiday categories like
apparel and electronics may experience deflation due to aggressive
sales.
 
“The expectation of another challenging holiday season does not come as
news to retailers, who have been experiencing a pullback in consumer
spending for over a year,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “To
compensate, retailers’ focus on the holiday season has been razor-sharp
with companies cutting back as much as possible on operating costs in
order to pass along aggressive savings and promotions to customers.”

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