Forecast Good for 2011 Holiday Sales

Retail sales are expected to see better-than-average growth for the 2011 holiday season in shopping-center sales, chain-store sales and sales in general merchandise stores. The growth is not …

Retail sales are expected to see better-than-average growth for the 2011 holiday season in shopping-center sales, chain-store sales and sales in general merchandise stores. The growth is not expected to match the same pace of 2010, but is expected to be an improvement according to the International Council of Shopping Centers data. Experts believe the growth will have to contend with political and economic pressures, although early numbers indicate persistent, if slow, purchasing progress.  For more on this continue reading the following article from Blue MauMau.

U.S. holiday sales for retail shops in 2011 will post a moderate gain, though subdued compared ot the prior year’s pace, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.  Shopping-center sales are expected a moderate increase of 2.2 percent during November and December 2011 compared to last year’s more robust growth of 5.0 percent. That followed two back-to-back season declines, which were a result of the severe 2007-09 recession. 

More broadly, three common measures of U.S. industry holiday sales—shopping-center sales, ICSC’s composite of major chains and "GAFO-store" sales—all are expected to increase in 2011 by a slower pace of between 0.3 and 2.8 percentage points, depending on the metric, compared with its 2010 holiday performance.

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"Although there are many statistics and surveys that convey the magnitude of holiday sales, the qualitative themes are more important than a ‘point estimate’ based on any specific metric," noted Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and vice president for research. 

The ICSC holiday sales forecast contains at least four messages: (1) No matter which metric of performance is used, ICSC projects 2011 U.S. holiday sales are likely to advance at a slower pace than in 2010 as strong economic headwinds continue to persist; (2) The 2011 holiday season forecast also envisions a pace of sales considerably slower than during the first half of 2011 since retail sales generally advanced at a faster pace in early 2011 than during the 2010 holiday season; (3) Compared with the previous 10-year sales performance, 2011 is likely to be near-to-above average depending on the sales metric; (4) The economic and political risks are expected to be higher during the upcoming season than during 2010.  But still, on balance, ICSC’s 2011 holiday sales forecast portrays a moderately healthy performance," Niemira added.

Shopping-Center Sales are compiled by ICSC based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics and measures sales at stores that are likely to be found at shopping centers. This series includes general merchandise, apparel, furniture, electronic and other store sales (GAFO) plus health and personal care store sales, food and beverage sales, and building materials.

Chain-Store Sales are compiled by ICSC from U.S. retailers’ publically-reported monthly company sales. These company data are aggregated by ICSC using same-store or comparable-store sales-weighted sums for each month and expressed as a sales index with a base year of 2005, which is set equal to 100.   A companion metric for total-store sales, which includes the impacts of store expansion and contraction, also is compiled by ICSC.

GAFO-Store Sales are sales generated at stores that specialize in department-store type merchandise (general merchandise, apparel and accessory, furniture and other similar-store types) and includes electronics, computers, sporting goods, music, books, hobby, office supplies, stationery and gift stores). These data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

This article was republished with permission from Blue MauMau.

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