ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centers

ICSC Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase by 3.4%

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Topics: holidays sales, icsc, research, retail, retail real estate, retail sales

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ICSC Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase by 3.4%
Retailers Should Expect a Stronger Season than Last Year

NEW YORK, September 30, 2013 – It’s never too early to think about the holidays and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is forecasting a 3.4% sales increase, slightly stronger than last year, for the traditional November-December holiday period, even though retailers are expecting a more modest spending season. Additionally, ICSC anticipates that the other two measures of U.S. industry holiday sales—shopping-center inclined sales +3.4%, and chain-store sales +2.0—will both increase over last year [Editor’s note: see table below].

While the industry and the U.S. economy have gone through a mini-cycle slowdown the last three quarters, there are indicators of positive growth this season, despite retailer’s mixed outlook. Although consumers have faced some political and economic uncertainty—higher payroll taxes, concern about a federal government shutdown and questionable costs of the Affordable Care Act—this year’s sale are looking to be better than last year’s.

“We’re going to see a more subdued spending mood from consumers, but what counts is that we’re on track to have a better holiday sales season that last year,” said Michael P. Niemira, vice president of research and chief economist for ICSC. “With leaner inventories, retailers can expect their prices and margins to remain stable, which is another good indicator of stronger sales,” he said.

Additionally, holiday hiring is highly correlated with holiday spending, and can also forecast a stronger sales performance. It appears that holiday hiring will be up 0.5% from last year. ¬

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 60,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.

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