Following months of back and forth peppered with unexpected wildcards and unusual uncertainty, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has unwrapped its annual holiday forecast.
The NRF believes that all signs point to an overall U.S. retail sales increase of between 3.6-5.2% over November and December of last year. Should the predictions ring true, cash registers in the U.S. will ring between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion during the important holiday season.
“We know this holiday season will be unlike any other, and retailers have planned ahead by investing billions of dollars to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year. We expect a strong finish to the holiday season and will continue to work with municipal and state officials to keep retailers open and the economy moving forward at this critical time.”
NRF data, which does not include sales made at car dealers, gas stations, and restaurants, defines the holiday season as running Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The organization notes that its forecast may differ from other organizations that use different methodology or define the holiday season as being longer, or include other retail outlets not tracked by the NRF.
Digital sales, which are included in the NRF total, are expected to increase by 20% to 30%.