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Business Observer Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 2 weeks ago

High hopes for holiday shopping season

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Retail groups predict this holiday shopping season will make merchants jolly.

Ah! The holiday shopping season.

The time of year where the malls are packed, where finding a parking spot requires Xanax and where post-Thanksgiving dinner means lining up outside of Best Buy for a discounted TV. And, now, in the world of online shopping, we add to the list of traditions, waiting for Amazon to notify you the package is on the way and praying that special something for that special someone is not on a shipping container on boat anchored outside the Port of Los Angeles.

As much as those traditions mean to the average person, retailers and other business owners wait each year for the predictions — sometimes bold, sometimes timid — of how shoppers feel about the upcoming season.

This year, as the holiday shopping season kicks off, there is hope for optimism.

The National Retail Federation is forecasting sales between November and December will jump between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020, to between $843.3 billion and $859 billion. The average consumer will spend $998 — $648 of that will be on gifts.

And the NRF found that 66% of people, 158.3 million, plan to start shopping Thanksgiving weekend. While up from last year, that figure is below the 165.3 million who shopped Thanksgiving weekend in 2019.

For those who own or manage businesses, though, the questions shift to the two most important ones: What are people buying and where are they buying it?

 

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