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2012 Christmas Holiday Shopping Season Retail Sales, Job, Technology Predictions

Roundup of Retail Expert Predictions for U.S. Retailing Holiday Shopping Results

By

Updated February 08, 2013
While those who work in the retail industry are engaged in the intensity of the Christmas holiday shopping season, retail analysts, investors, researchers, and consultants will be engaged in the intensity of Christmas holiday shopping season predictions. There seems to be no limit to the number of ways that retail holiday sales, traffic, jobs, hiring, and technology can be measured and predicted. There also seems to be no limit to the number of people who have and want to express their opinions about what this year’s Christmas season retail results will be before it is underway.

Speculation and inferences about the 2012 Christmas shopping holiday season were being made during the back-to-school shopping season. Official predictions from retail industry experts started getting formulated and communicated shortly after Labor Day. What follows is a roundup of the 2012 Christmas holiday shopping season retail predictions from retail experts, and industry trade groups. This 2012 Holiday Retail Predictions article was last updated on 11-7-12, and will be updated regularly as expert predictions are released to the public. Bookmark this page to return for more predictions as the 2012 holiday shopping season progresses.

Predictions About Online Shopping:

Online sales will increase 12%, compared to a year-over-year increase of 15% during the 2011 holiday shopping season, according to Shop.org.

Fedex is expecting a 13% increase in its shipments during the 2012 shopping season, compared to the same holiday period in 2011.

Predictions From Retail Industry Trade Groups and Associations:

Holiday shopping season sales will increase 4.1% compared to the 2011 holiday shopping season, according to National Retail Federation predictions. That would be a total of about $586 billion, if the NRF is correct in its predictions. The NRF has stated that it will not be revising its prediction due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • The International Council of shopping Centers predicted a 3% increase in sales in brick-and-mortar retail stores before Hurricane Sandy struck, damaged, and temporarily closed retail stores along the east coast.

    Predictions from Research Groups and Consultancies About 2012 Christmas Holiday Shopping Season Sales:
    • Hurricane Sandy will decrease holiday shopping season revenue by 1.1%, according to retail consultant firm, Strategic Resource Group. They are now predicting a 2.1% increase in holiday sales, compared to a 3.2% prediction made before Hurricane Sandy hit.
    • Consulting firm AlixPartners expects that Hurricane Sandy will have no long-term impact on the largest U.S. retail chains. Their prediction of a 3.5% - 4.0% increase in year-over-year sales remains unchanged.
    • Market research company ShopperTrak is predicting an overall year-over-year holiday shopping season increase of 3%, which is less than the 3.7% year-over-year overall sales increase achieved in 2011. ShopperTrak made the same 3% sales increase prediction in 2011.
    • The Deloitte consulting group is predicting that holiday shopping sales will be 3.5% to 4% higher than 2012. This prediction includes sales through the month of January and purchases made on the Internet.


    Predictions About Retail Temporary Hiring in the 2012 Holiday Shopping Season:
    • Retail hiring will increase 0.4% from October through December, 2012, when compared to the same time period in 2011, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
    • Retail leaders surveyed by Hay Group management consultants predicted that would have more seasonal retail jobs and would be hiring more temporary Christmas holiday season workers to fill them.


    Predictions from Analysts About Apple Inc. 2012 Holiday Shopping Season Sales:

    Brokerage firm analyst Shaw Wu predicts that Apple will sell 46.5 million iPhones in the fourth calendar quarter of 2012. Two million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 were placed in the first 24 hours that the device was made available, and all launch day supplies were sold out completely.

    Predictions from Retail Leaders About the 2012 Christmas Season Promotions and Sales Results:
    • After Hurricane Sandy, Macy’s predicts that its November sales would be negatively impacted, but raised its earnings expectations for the fourth quarter despite that. It expects fourth quarter same store sales to be 4.2%, and its annual earnings per share to be between $3.35 and $3.40.
    • 75% of retail leaders surveyed by management consulting firm Hay Group predicted that sales for the 2012 Christmas shopping season will be higher than they were in 2011. This same group of retail leaders said they planned to start their holiday shopping promotions even earlier than last year, with 42% saying they will start promoting Christmas shopping deals in October. Contrary to the consuming trends of the first nine months of 2012, half of the retail leaders surveyed said they expected to achieve higher sales without the deep discounting that strategies they employed during the 2011 holiday shopping season.
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