- Title: Shoppers to spend more this holiday season, say retail experts
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF WALMART STORE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SHOPPING VARIOUS OF CHECK OUT LINE WALMART SIGN
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 16:31
- Keywords: shopping holiday Macy's Walmart
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK AND BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK AND BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00259J2DN1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Shoppers will spend more money this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and a retail analyst who spoke to Reuters.
The NRF says it expects sales to increase 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion (USD) for November and December.
The retail trade association credits steady job and income gains, consumer confidence and greater use of credit this year to people's willingness to spend more money.
The year-end shopping season, which spans November and December, is crucial for many retailers because the two months can account for anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of their annual sales.
"There's a few interesting things about this season. One, consumers are saying they are going to spend more this year. Sixty-one percent plan to spend more this holiday season than they did last year. The categories of where they are going to spend will be similar - electronics, TVs, accessories, computers, that type of thing," said Marissa Tarleton, the chief marketing officer of RetailMeNot, Inc, in North America.
Shoppers in Herald Square in New York City offered a mixed forecast on their holiday spending.
"I think I'll spend a little more this year. I mean the sales are great," said Charlie, a New Yorker.
Haley, a visitor from Colorado said, "I'm the kind of person, I always try to find the deal. So if I can spend less, I will. But if not, to me it's about getting the right gift, not necessarily how much you spend on it."
Alimata from New York said, "This year I'm spending less because the economy is a little bit weak." She added, "I believe last year, I shopped like crazy, but I corrected my mistake for this year."
In the meantime, big box retailer Walmart announced it will offer Cyber Monday deals starting on Black Friday (November 25), the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.
Walmart stores will start offering online deals reserved for Cyber Monday two days in advance this year, joining a growing list of U.S. retailers who offer web promotions over the Thanksgiving weekend.
"The interesting thing about this season is mobile has really taken over and mobile is influencing all channels. And the retailers that are understanding that and capitalizing on consumers browsing on their mobile devices while they're shopping, in my opinion, are going to be the ones that really take off," added Tarleton.
Walmart recently said it will boost its online inventory for Black Friday by more than half this year, as it pulls out all stops to grow online sales this holiday season. The retailer has grown its online inventory to 23 million items from 8 million at the start of the year.
Walmart's step to boost online sales comes at a time when Black Friday is losing its importance as early discounts and online shopping keep shoppers away from stores.
Walmart said orders that were ordered on the retailer's mobile app and picked up in store increased more than 75 percent during the first two weeks of November from the same period a year earlier.
Cyber Monday is the biggest day of the year for internet shopping and follows Black Friday, which is the busiest shopping day for brick-and-mortar retailers.
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