Positive Employment and Confidence Stats to Boost U.S. Holiday Sales, Says New FGRT Report

Total sales to increase by 3 percent to 4 percent with technology to be popular gifts, writes Managing Director Deborah Weinswig

November 15, 2017

NEW YORK (November 15, 2017) – With unemployment at its lowest rate in 17 years, consumer sentiment up four points over 2016 levels, and one extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, global think tank FGRT (Fung Global Retail & Technology) remains optimistic that U.S. holiday sales will increase by 3 percent to 4 percent over 2016 results. That is well above the average 2.6 percent increase over the past 10 years, says FGRT’s new report “Deep Dive: Holiday 2017-All Signs Point to ‘Shop!'”

E-commerce will take an ever-growing share of those sales, continuing its year-long acceleration. Online sales accounted for nearly 9 percent of overall sales in the third quarter of 2017, FGRT reports.

Tech products likely will be a major gift category this year, driven by Apple’s new iPhone X and related accessories, declining prices for 4K TVs, and intelligent speakers, writes FGRT Managing Director Deborah Weinswig.

“Technology gifts are no longer just for tech lovers; rather, they have become essential appliances and cornerstones of our culture,” Weinswig says. Also driving sales this holiday will be merchandise and promotions related to the release of the newest “Star Wars” movie, “The Last Jedi.”

Apparel gifts also will feature prominently on shoppers’ lists, she added, with items from Gucci (and more affordable versions from H&M and Zara), Coach and Gap likely to be popular. Vintage looks, especially 1960s-inspired pieces such as short ankle boots and bell bottoms, also will appeal to consumers.

Other factors that should encourage sales increases this year include cooler weather in November and December compared with 2016, which should boost seasonal apparel, and easier year-over-year sales comparisons due to last year’s traffic dip prior to the U.S. presidential election.

“With that behind us, shoppers now have an idea of the White House agenda, and its pro-business sentiment has accompanied a run in stock markets worldwide, again leading consumers to feel more affluent,” Weinswig writes. “Sales performance for this holiday season is likely to meet or even exceed our estimates.”

The full report can be found here. FGRT’s reports and analyses can be found at www.FGRT.com and www.deborahweinswig.com. Subscribe here to receive Deborah Weinswig’s daily news and analysis on retail, fashion and technology.

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About FGRT
FGRT (Fung Global Retail & Technology) is a think tank whose research team, based in New York, London and Hong Kong, follows emerging retail and tech trends, specializing in the ways retail and technology intersect, and in 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.fgrt.com.

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