Deborah D. McAdams /
10.01.2013 12:05PM
CEA Forecasts 4 Percent Rise in Holiday Retail Sales to $738 Billion
Online shopping expected to be up 19 percent
ARLINGTON, VA.— Total retail sales for the November through December holiday sales period are expected to increase by 4 percent over last year, reaching $738 billion in total revenue, according to the Consumer Electronics Association’s 2013 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast report. The figure excludes restaurants and gas stations.

Strong online channel sales will drive overall holiday retail sales growth this season, according to the forecast. Online sales are expected to hit a new sales record, growing 18.7 percent to reach $57 billion. Mobile purchases, expected to surpass $8 billion for the first time, will grow by 35 percent and account for nearly 15 percent of all online holiday purchases.

“The online retail channel will dictate holiday sales this season,” said Shawn DuBravac CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research. “Retailers and manufacturers should take note of shifting shopping habits as consumers increasingly turn online and to their mobile devices to make purchases.”

CEA expects overall retail sales during the 2013 holiday season to be roughly on par with 2012 holiday sales. Last year, consumers spent $709 billion at retail during the holiday season, according to CEA. CEA forecasts subpar growth of just 2.7 percent for General Merchandise, Apparel and Accessories, Furniture and Other Sales during the 2013 holiday season, creating a drag on overall holiday sales. This category excudes online retailers and car dealerships.

“Overall retail holiday sales growth looks healthy for 2013,” said DuBravac. “However, significant economic risks remain unresolved, and these could still negatively impact how much consumers decide to spend this holiday season.”
                      
CEA will release its full 2013 holiday sales trends forecast, including the 20th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, at CEA’s Industry Forum on Oct. 22.


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