New York—While it may be Friday the 13th—a traditionally an unlucky day—most U.S. retailers are probably rejoicing and racking up sales. Several positive signs were revealed this week to justify that optimism.
The monthly global port tracker found imports of containers were on the rise the last couple of months and December is no exception—that means merchandise is being shipped, or has been, to stock retail inventory. ShopperTrak reported that sales were up 1.4% last Saturday, Dec. 7, compared to last year and predicted that sales and traffic levels will continue to rise ahead of Christmas Day.
‘Pent-up Purchasing Power’ Sparks Sales
Then when you least expect it, some good news out of Washington! The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that sales in November, the start of the holiday season, were up more than since June and ahead of economist’s estimates.
“By-and-large, consumers have pent-up purchasing power and are willing to spend this holiday season,” says NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Retailers will compete for each and every shopper and sale, and promotions and deals will continue throughout the month. Although this holiday season will remain challenging for some retailers, today’s sales report bodes well for a solid holiday sales season.”
A look at some of this week’s retail earnings reports validates the fact that some retailers seek their holiday season as being challenging however. Price-off promotions have been a key driver. And those discounts could get even more pronounced in the next 12 days. America’s Research Group’s consumer survey found nearly half of consumers are looking for 70% off or more in their last-minute shopping trips.
To get a better glimpse of need-to-know information about retail and trends, check out this week’s top 10 online articles: