Holiday 2015 Sales to Rise 3 Percent to 4 Percent, says FBIC

Colder, dryer December and new technology to draw US shoppers, predicts Fung Business Intelligence Centre's Deborah Weinswig

October 20, 2015

NEW YORK (October 20, 2015) – With a cold, dry December in the forecast, one more selling day than last year and new tech and toys on the shelves, retailers should expect a happy holiday 2015 selling season, with combined spending in November and December to rise between 3 percent and 4 percent over 2014 levels to between $626 billion to $633 billion, predicts Deborah Weinswig, FBIC Executive Director-Head of Global Retail & Technology in the just-released report “US Holiday 2015 Forecast: Things are Looking Up for the Holidays.”

“Although the growth rate may be slightly lower than the 4 percent recorded in 2014, it is still within range of holiday spending growth rates recorded each year since 2012,” Weinswig writes.

Weather forecasting firm Planalytics predicts that December temperatures nationwide will be 2 percent lower than in 2014, with 4 percent less rainfall throughout the country, a perfect non-storm for holiday shopping. But precipitation could have a positive effect in some regions.

“The colder temperatures should drive demand for winter apparel and consumables,” Weinswig writes. “[And] higher snowfall in the mid-South and Southwest regions could drive need-based purchases of winter items.”

The calendar also is cooperating with retailers, with Christmas falling on a Friday and one more shopping day in the season (29) than in 2014. Chanukah, which this year runs from Monday, December 7 through Monday, December 14, also will add to the post-Thanksgiving rush, Weinswig writes. In addition, other major shopping dates also are becoming prominent, the report notes. Singles Day (11/11) which originated in China in the 1990s, has become an international shopping event. Giving Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday (the first Monday after Thanksgiving), also is becoming a tech-based retail event.

Not surprisingly, Weinswig predicts technology will be a significant gift this year, including the iPhone 6s, updated versions of Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 tablet, fitness bands and accessories, Bluetooth speakers and drones. Popular toys will include Barbie Dreamhouse, Star Wars merchandise, and Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo.

The percentage of sales over the Internet will continue to grow, she notes. Mobile commerce continues to gain share within e-commerce, the report adds, accounting for 16 percent of digital commerce in the second quarter, twice the share two years ago.

FBIC will continue to report on holiday sales trends throughout the season. The full report can be found here. Recent reports issued by the group include: “Global Chinese Shoppers: The $200 Billion Opportunity,” “Global Department Store Retailing,” “The Disruptor Series: Retail in the New Connected World,” and “A Booming Opportunity: Profiting from a Graying America.” All of the group’s reports and analyses can be found at www.fbicgroup.com and www.deborahweinswig.com.

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About Fung Business Intelligence Centre Global Retail & Technology

The Fung Business Intelligence Centre (FBIC) Global Retail & Technology research team, based in New York, London and Hong Kong, is a think tank that follows emerging retail and tech trends, specializing in the ways retail and technology intersect, and building collaborative communities.

The team, led by Deborah Weinswig, former top Wall Street and retail tech analyst and startup advisor, publishes ongoing thematic and global market research on topics such as the Internet of Things, digital payments, omnichannel retail, luxury and fashion trends and disruptive technologies. More information can be found at www.fbicgroup.com

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