MADISON, Wis. (8/25/15)--It’s not too early to start thinking about the holiday season, especially if it concerns the year-end bottom line. This year’s holiday retail season is expected to be strong in the United States, according to the latest eMarketer forecast.
U.S. retail sales in the months of November and December will increase 5.7% year over year, reaching $885.7 billion, eMarketer predicted. That’s an upward adjustment from the 3.2% growth rate predicted earlier this year--and the highest since the 6.3% rise in 2011.
“Retail sales in November and December 2015 are expected to show a healthy increase over what was experienced during the same period in 2014,” said eMarketer analyst Monica Peart. “This expectation is driven primarily by the fact that gas station sales, which make up roughly 12% of overall retail sales, dropped rather dramatically in late 2014.
“Increases in real income from wages, further decreases in unemployment and an increased willingness to spend in traditional retail categories that missed out on the windfall in gas prices earlier on in the year should also drive growth,” Peart added.
Retail ecommerce holiday season sales are expected to decline slightly this year to 13.9% compared with 14.4% in 2014. However, the market share of ecommerce sales will increase to 9% of total retail sales, or $70.4 billion, up from 8.3% last year.
Similarly, mobile will play an increased role in holiday sales this year. eMarketer expects U.S. retail mobile commerce sales to rise 32.2% in the full year of 2015--more than double the 14.2% increase forecast for retail ecommerce sales as a whole. By the end of 2016, 25% of all retail ecommerce sales in the United States will take place via mobile devices.