The National Retail Federation expects a good but hardly great holiday season, with sales online and off expected to rise 3.9 percent during the months of November and December.
If met, the forecast would lift sales for the season to $602.12 billion, up from $579.49 billion in 2012, with a percentage increase in excess of the 3.5 percent uplift experienced last year. Sales growth in the last 10 years has averaged 3.3 percent, bookmarked by a 6.8 percent increase in 2004 and the sole decline during the period, 4.4 percent negative, in the recession-ravaged year of 2008.
Online sales growth, included in the overall forecast, is expected to land between 13 and 15 percent this year, taking it as high as $82 billion, but below the 15.5 percent growth reported for the final three months of 2012 by the Commerce Department.
Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and chief executive officer, told WWD the projection for holiday includes possible effects from the current government shutdown and a possible confrontation later this month over the debt ceiling. “There is a sense of optimism that this can be resolved,” he said. “This should all be long behind us before we get to Nov. 1, and if that’s the case, November and December could be very solid.”
If that’s the case, retailers would be heading into holiday without a fiscal showdown looming, unlike last year, when the arrival of sequestration put a damper on holiday sales. However, he acknowledged that, were there to be a prolonged government shutdown, “the economic effect would be felt across the entire economy and beyond the impact on those being furloughed.”
Shay said that sales had shifted in recent months away from discretionary purchases and toward higher-ticket items as many consumers sought to lock in low interest rates on loans in anticipation of “tapering” by the Federal Reserve. More detailed numbers on NRF’s expectations by sector, derived from consumer interviews, will be released shortly. The forecast is based on econometric data including consumer confidence, consumer credit and disposable income.
Shay characterized key economic metrics, such as job and gross domestic product growth, as “teetering on incremental for years. This is better than the mentality of a few years ago, where people were thinking as flat as ‘the new up.’ There are underlying economic fundamentals that are showing signs of strength, but again, we’re left to balance them with uncertainty that is generally self-inflicted.”
He added that, in conversations with the Washington-based organization’s members, he sensed expectations of another highly promotional holiday season, with continuing integration of digital technology helping to make retailers “more customer-centric and capable of delivering value” than in the past.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)