Dreaming of a Green Christmas
By George Anderson
The National Retail Federation has a present for all its members. The group has changed its forecast for the holiday season and now expects spending to be six percent higher than last year, not the five percent it had previously projected.
If the NRF’s prediction comes true, it would mark the second-largest year-over-year increase since 1999. Last year, sales for the holiday period were up 6.7 percent from 2003.
Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of NRF, said the reason for optimism is that gas prices are going down while consumer spending continues to rise. “Recent consumer spending has surpassed our expectations,” she said.
Not all share Ms. Mullin’s and the NRF’s optimism, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Last week, WSL Strategic Retail released its “How America Shops” report with research showing that 53 percent of consumers intend to spend less this year than last. Only nine percent expect to increase the amount they purchase.
“Holiday shopping 2005 will be as tough as post-9/11 because shoppers are once again surrounded by uncertainty: war, terrorists, acts of God striking randomly, plus oil companies putting a tight squeeze on wallets,” according to the report’s authors Wendy Liebmann and Candace Corlett.
Moderator’s Comment: Does your anecdotal or quantitative research suggest consumer spending will be up solidly this
George Anderson – Moderator