Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Holiday sales seen slightly higher

September 20, 2010

wrapping paper1Check out Deloitte’s forecast for modest Holiday 2010 sales.

The accounting firm expects U.S. retail sales to rise 2 percent this holiday season, as ongoing weakness in the housing and job markets keeps a tight lid on consumers’ discretionary budgets.

Deloitte expects total holiday sales to reach $852 billion, a 2 percent increase in retail sales from November through January, excluding motor vehicles and gasoline, over last season. By Deloitte’s measure, retail sales rose 1 percent last year.

One bright spot this year should be e-commerce, Deloitte said, forecasting a 15 percent increase in “non-store sales” which include sales from online, catalogs and interactive TV.

“The convenience  and functionality that have fueled e-commerce gains in previous seasons will continue to draw consumers online to do their shopping this year,” said Alison Paul, Deloitte’s retail sector leader in the United States. ” Online activity may also influence in-store shopping this holiday season, as social networks and mobile applications are playing a more prominent role in the shopping process. ”

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(Photo: Reuters)

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