National Retail Federation Predicts the Biggest Holiday Season Ever

A family shops for holiday toys and decor. | Source: Adobe Stock

It’s a year of mixed messaging, but one thing is clear: consumer demand in the U.S. has never been higher.

Despite global supply chain issues that are resulting in shortages on some specific items, consumer goods are flying off the shelves and the National Retail Federation (NRF) says to expect this year to shatter previous records.

On its annual holiday call this week, the NRF forecast retail sales growth between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020. Those increases would mean holiday sales in the $843.4 billion to $859 billion range, the largest holiday sales season in recorded history.

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“There is considerable momentum heading into the holiday shopping season. Consumers are in a very favorable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers are making significant investments in their supply chains and spending heavily to ensure they have products on their shelves to meet this time of exceptional consumer demand.”

The NRF also anticipates record hiring of seasonal workers this year. The organization defines the holiday season as running Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

Heading into the season, toy industry earnings for the third quarter have presented growth and optimism as major players, including Mattel and Hasbro, mitigate supply chain challenges.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.