Holiday Forecast: Shoppers Are In A Buying Mood

Nov 15, 2012

Holiday shopping makes up almost half of all retail sales.
Credit Regan McCarthy

Forecasters are predicting lots of shopping in the coming weeks. Florida Retail Federation officials said the state’s shoppers are in a “buying mood,” as evidenced by an early start to the holiday shopping season.

Florida Retail Federation President Rick McAllister says holiday shopping gets started earlier every year, with some big brand stores looking at Christmas in November.

“Stores are playing Christmas music. The displays are out. The sales are going, and let’s be honest. The reason that we do that, is because the consumer wants it,” McAllister said.  

McAllister said consumers like to shop ahead. Since the recession, shoppers have been more hesitant to use credit cards. That means they’re shopping pay day to pay day, and therefore need more time. McAllister said that’s one reason it’s a good thing there’s a longer stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas eve—when holiday shopping really picks up.

“So that will give shoppers more time and will give retailers more time to meet their needs – 32 more days in total to spend before Christmas,” McAllister said.

Stores are playing Christmas music. The displays are out. The sales are going. And let's be honest. The reason that we do that, is because the consumer wants it.

And retailers, are planning ways to give shoppers more time too. Tony Fischler with Sears said his store’s customers have said they want more Black Friday hours.

“So Sears has responded. We’re proud to announce that our stores will be opening up at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving evening with a 26-marathon hours of sales with Dual Busters almost every hour, so we’re very proud of that fact,” Fischler said.

The Florida Retail Federation expects about a five-percent bump in Holiday spending, which accounts for as much as 40-percent of  retailers’ annual sales. And experts said some of that increase will come from online sales. Federation estimates show a 15-percent increase in e-sales, which account for about 5-percent of all retail sales.