Christmas sales are expected to jump this coming holiday season, and that means more gifts under the tree for many American families.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) released a report Tuesday showing that Christmas sales are expected to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion this year. The average sales increase rate over the past decade is just 2.5 percent and the seven year average is only slightly higher at 3.4 percent. Sales increased 3.2 percent in the 2015 Christmas season.
“All of the fundamentals are in a good place, giving strength to consumers and leading us to believe that this will be a very positive holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release.
Shoppers are told that there are several reasons why they should expect an increase in shopping, including the fact that incomes are on the rise and the unemployment rate is exceptionally low. Seasonal employment is also likely to increase between 640,000 and 690,000, an estimate not distant from the 675,300 new holiday positions that were created in 2015, says the NRF.
The challenge that retailers face primarily comes in the form of competing with Amazon.com and other online retail giants. More shoppers went on-line than to Amazon for Black Friday in 2015, and experts project that on-line sales will surpass 10 percent of the total holiday sales revenue for the first time in history, Fortune reports.
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