Holiday retail sales will be down, but not as sharply as last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
The trade organization on Monday predicted holiday sales would decline 1 percent this year to $437.6 billion. That’s well below the 10-year average of 3.39 percent gains, although far better than both last year’s 3.4 percent drop and the 3 percent decline in annual retail sales forecast 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,” NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells said.
The NRF cited “some hopeful signs of a recovery,” such as better-than-expected sales in August and momentum in the stock market. However, consumer uncertainty over job security and declining housing values will take a toll on spending this holiday season. As retailers become even more promotional, certain popular holiday categories like apparel and electronics may experience deflation because of aggressive sales, the NRF said.
“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 Tracy Mullin, NRF president and chief executive. “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.”
NRF defines “holiday sales” as the November-to-December period at traditional retailers, including discounters and department, grocery and specialty stores. Sales at automotive dealers, gas stations and restaurants are excluded.
Along similar lines, Archstone Consulting forecast that holiday retail sales would decline 1 percent, compared with a 2.8 percent drop last year from 2007, representing the first back-to-back contraction in 40 years.
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion