Driven by low unemployment, income growth, high consumer confidence and 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to projections from eMarketer, retail holiday sales in the US will increase by 5.8% to an estimated $1.002 trillion. Not only will this be the first-time holiday sales cross the $1 trillion threshold, but it will also be the strongest growth since 2011.
eMarketer also projects that brick-and-mortar retail will jump 4.4% to $878.38 billion. With updated store formats and floorplans, streamlined checkout and options to buy online an pick-up in store, one analyst argues that shoppers are being lured back into brick-and-mortar stores. This growth is despite an estimated 16.6% gain in e-commerce to $123.73 billion leading another eMarketer analyst to argue that a battle will wage for e-commerce market share with more promotions and perks as retailers compete against Amazon.
Retail continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Despite the encouraging forecasts, liquidations are on the rise with more projected on the horizon. In fact, a steady stream of liquidations could become part of the norm for retail over the next decade. While the projections are encouraging, when retail is viewed more granularly it is prudent to recognize that many sectors of retail may not be sitting atop the most solid ground.