Online sales will dominate holiday season: What you need to know

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Holiday retail: What you need to know

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Online sales are expected to surpass in-store sales this holiday season, a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation found.

About 59 percent of consumers plan to shop online this year, while 57 percent will shop at a department store, 54 percent at a discount store, 46 percent at a grocery store/supermarket and 35 percent at clothing or accessories store. The survey found 27 percent plan to visit an electronics store, 25 percent a small or local business, and 18 percent will go to a crafts or fabrics store.

Overall spending will also likely increase this year.

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“With employment and incomes increasing, consumers are more confident this year and that is reflected in their buying plans for the holidays,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

NRF projects that holiday retail sales in November and December this year will be up between 3.6 percent and 4 percent for a total between $678.8 billion and $682 billion. Consumers say they will spend an average $967.13 this year, according to the annual survey conducted.

“Retailers have been stocking up in expectation of this, and all signs are that this will be a busy holiday season,” Shay said. “Retailers are preparing for a rush of consumers leading into Thanksgiving and all through December, and are offering a wide array of merchandise and promotions so shoppers can find great gifts and great deals at the same time.”

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Consumers are also feeling less affected by the economy and political environment. The survey found that only 27 percent of consumers say their spending will be impacted by concerns about the nation’s economy, “down from 32 percent during 2016’s election-year jitters,” NRF said in a statement.

“While many consumers are holding off until November or later to start their holiday shopping, retailers should be prepared for high traffic online and in stores come Thanksgiving weekend as customers start tackling their lists,” said Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow.

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