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, respectively.
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.