With 99 days until Christmas, retailers are already feeling the rush of the holidays. Target and UPS have begun hiring for the holiday season; eBay and Etsy have just posted their first holiday ads. And retailers from Anthropologie to Hobby Lobby are already pitching Christmas displays and merchandise. You are no doubt also getting in the spirit, too--between plotting your seasonal sales strategies to amassing inventory for the main event. The excitement is warranted.
U.S. retail sales are expected to grow between 4.5 and 5 percent between November and December compared with the same period in 2018, according to Deloitte's latest annual holiday retail forecast. Even amid tough news about rising oil prices and trade tariffs, low unemployment and positive consumer sentiment are expected to help holiday sales exceed $1.1 trillion between this November and January. The survey further notes that e-commerce sales are expected grow 14 to 18 percent, to between $144 billion and $149 billion over the period, up from 11.2 percent growth in 2018.
"We've seen retailers continue to improve customer experience, invest in the fundamentals, and leverage relationships with innovative startups to boost engagement and efficiency," said Rod Sides, Deloitte's U.S. retail and distribution sector leader, in a press release. He added that retailers who continue this trend will benefit. "Convenience is the new retail currency; retailers who offer seamless experiences, have products available, and can deliver items more quickly than ever are most likely to win this holiday season."