Holiday Spending Will Be Slightly Weaker This Year

Spending will be slightly weaker online and in stores this holiday season. Sales will grow 2% in stores and 14.5% online—resulting in 3.5% overall growth, according to projections by MacroSavvy™.

The forecast shows that the weakness will be most evident at specific retail channels.

The outlook reflects trends in key macro-shopper indicators and in the 15-plus retail segments that underlie the forecast based on government-reported sales. The holiday forecast is for the months of November and December excluding the auto, fuel, and food service channels.

In summary, the report expands on:

  • Why the weakness? Holiday Outlook 2016 By MacroSavvy™Signs pointing to holiday weakness are evident in spending confidence among consumers and reflect the impact of election worries and slower business investment affecting the job outlook. (See related post here.)
  • The online impact. Online growth will ease compared with exceptionally robust growth a year ago, but will remain the major force weighing on in-store sales growth.
  • Apparel-homegoods shifts. Flat growth will be an improvement for apparel channels while homegoods channels sag as a strong year-ago comparison period takes a toll in addition to online competition.
  • Food price effects. Grocery stores and big-box mass stores face weaker growth, partly from the impact of declining food prices—in addition to growing online competition.
  • An eating-out impact. Although restaurant sales gains will moderate, they will continue to weigh on grocery sales—despite relative price trends that should favor grocery stores.

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