In the United States, retailers are busy preparing for the holiday season but some challenges on the way do not actually make them happy. While many ecommerce sites have gained online presence, they still find it difficult to compete with retail giants like Amazon. The overall forecast however, is generally positive from the retailer’s perspective because it seems like this holiday season will be one of the best.
The National Retail Federation predicts that sales for November and December will increase by 3.6% to reach $655.8 billion. Sales will outpace the 2.5% average growth for the last 10 years. Holiday spending is also expected to increase by 10%, the highest point since 2008. Since the holiday season brings retailer’s a big chunk of profits, it is only right to provide consumers with high customer service, great product assortments and great prices.
For the first time during a holiday season, selected Saks stores will feature gift concierges that will assist customers in choosing presents for friends, family and colleagues as well as gift wrapping and shipping. On the other hand, Target and Macy will continue to allow online shopping with the purchased item to be picked up at the brick and mortar store. Macy’s will also feature a holiday arcade full of items that can be called exclusive.
It is without doubt that the last quarter of the year is the most critical for a retailer that is why all efforts are required to make it successful. With the prospects of increased spending among consumers, retailers usually offer discounts during traditional big sale days like Black Friday. However, there are circumstances that can interfere with the expected holiday profit. Last year, an unusually warm weather wrecked havoc and sent clothing sales plunging. In 2014, a dramatic increase in online purchases and weather issues caused major delivery delays.
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