2013 Holiday Shopping Forecast

 Although it is only September, most retail stores are getting prepared for the 2013 holiday shopping season. Most are hoping to see an increase in sales over last year, but some industry analysts are not very optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping forecast.

Despite all the recent news reports about the economy turning around, many economists have stated that the country still has a long way to go before we start seeing a full financial recovery. This includes the retail industry, which has been hit really hard by the recent economic decline. Although some stores like Macy’s and Target have seen some increases in revenue and sales, their overall profit numbers are still down. It is for this reason that both stores are expected to launch early holiday marketing campaigns.

According to a recent consumer survey, many people are not planning to spend a lot of money on gifts this year. Some survey respondents stated that they are not doing much holiday shopping this year because they are trying to stay on a budget. While other respondents stated that they are not doing any holiday shopping this year because they are unemployed and don’t have any money. So this means that retailers are going to have to work extra hard in order to attract holiday shoppers.

One store that is using “layaway” as a marketing strategy is Kmart. For the past two holiday seasons Kmart has been attracting new customers by offering a “layaway” option. The Kmart company decided to bring their “layaway” service back after discontinuing it for several years. The company previously discontinued their layaway” service several years ago because so many people had started making purchases online. However, as a result of the unstable economy more people are looking for alternative ways they can go holiday shopping without going broke. For this reason, Kmart’s layaway service has been very popular. Then there are other retail chains which are hoping that offering things like free gift wrapping services will help them generate an increase in holiday sales.

However according to some retail industry analysts, it is going to take more than layaway and free gift wrapping service to attract holiday shoppers. Some say it will take things like significant price reductions, free shipping and free product giveaways. This is because the main thing consumers are looking for today is getting the best value for their money -- which goes across all income lines.

Although most industry analysts don’t believe that this will be a particularly good holiday season for retailers revenue wise, they do believe that moderately priced retail stores like Target and Walmart will do better than high end stores like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.

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