ARMONK, N.Y. – More consumers
will begin their holiday shopping for
CE and appliances earlier this season,
according to a new report from IBM.
The forecast projects a 4 percent
year-over-year increase in retail sales
of both CE (to $8.7 billion) and majaps
(to $1.5 billion) at retail next month,
suggesting that retailers should prepare
for a robust Black Friday.
“Retailers that staff up and stock up
for November and invest in advertising
are likely to have a substantial advantage
in the marketplace,” observed
Michael Haydock, an IBM global business
services partner and leader of
the company’s retail analytics unit.
Sales momentum going from October
into November is expected to be
much stronger than in previous years,
while the momentum from November
to December is forecast to be weaker
than in the past, the company said.
Nevertheless, November’s gains
should continue through the balance
of December, when CE and majap
sell-through will again grow by 4 percent,
to $12.2 billion and $1.6 billion,
IBM said it utilizes sophisticated
algorithms and 18 years of historical
data, including U.S. Commerce Department
retail sales reports, to develop
its forecasts, which analyze both
long-term trends and seasonal peaks
to provide a highly accurate projection
of industry sales.
Haydock added that disposable income
and the household savings rate
are both on the rise, which are indications
of pent-up consumer demand.