San Francisco — Holiday sales for CE and major appliance retailers are projected to increase 2 percent this holiday season, while store visits will decline 1 percent, a new report suggests.
According to market research firm ShopperTrak, the CE major appliance channel mirrors total retail trends, which indicate a slowdown in holiday sales growth. Total retail sales are expected to rise 2.4 percent in November and December, down 20 percent from last holiday season’s 3 percent gain, while total foot traffic is forecast to slip 1.4 percent year over year.
What’s more, a shorter holiday window will likely prompt even earlier promotions from retailers, ShopperTrak projected. With six fewer days and one less weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, and Hanukah arriving the day before Thanksgiving, promotions are likely to begin as early as the day after Halloween, the company said.
“Nobody can afford to procrastinate,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “Retailers must have their holiday marketing and operations ready to go when November begins, as consumers will be ready to take advantage of those deals.”
Martin noted that holiday sales and store shopper traffic historically account for about 20 percent of annual retail activity. But despite the slowdown in anticipated store visits, he said it is “critical to remember that well over 90 percent of all retail sales in the United States will occur in brick-and-mortar stores. Keeping a close eye on their in-store shopper analytics will help retailers succeed this holiday season.”