Holiday Season Insights from the National Retail Federation & Planalytics

On December 8th, Planalytics hosted a Holiday Update webinar with special guest Katherine Cullen of the National Retail Federation (NRF). A recording of this presentation is available here.

Katherine is the NRF’s Senior Director, Retail & Consumer Insights and she began the presentation with a look at their holiday sales forecast (+6-8%) and discussion of how spending would vary amongst across different income levels.

“Of course, we don’t want to discount the impact of inflation,” said Katherine. “It is important to keep in mind that lower- and middle-income households are certainly feeling the most pressure and have the least amount of flexibility to adjust spending.” On the other hand, higher income households are planning to spend more, as the image below shows.



Katherine went on to discuss trends the NRF is seeing regarding chosen shopping destinations (clothing stores, electronics stores, discount stores, etc.) as well as research on when the holiday shopping season starts for consumers and the reasons some shoppers start buying before November.

The NRF noted there was a lot of momentum heading into the Thanksgiving and retail sales during the Black Friday weekend exceeded expectations. Katherine reported that “we saw a record 196.7 million consumers shop both online and in stores starting Thanksgiving Day and continuing all the way through Cyber Monday.”



Planalytics’ Executive VP, Evan Gold, joined the discussion to highlight how the ever-important external variable retailers must account for – the weather. “You can’t overstate the importance that the weather has during the holidays,” according to Evan, who also noted that retailers shouldn’t buy into the myth that people will be shopping regardless and therefore the weather doesn’t matter. “It influences the channels the customer shops from,” Gold said and the weather “will directly influence the items customers are putting in their shopping carts, both physically and virtually.”

Evan shared how the weather has and will impact consumer demand trends this holiday season starting with October when colder temperatures in the East provided a positive start for sales of seasonal items. In November, the more favorable conditions pivoted from the East to the West, where clothing, hot foods, and other winter season products saw a boost in sales.

For December, Planalytics is projecting positive weather-influenced sales for many retailers compared to last year (see image below).


Listen to the webinar recording to get all the details.



More NRF & Planalytics News!

Planalytics is excited to be exhibiting and participating in NRF 2023 (Retail’s Big Show) in New York City in January. Visit the NRF’s website to learn more and to register!

Visit Planalytics at Booth #3393 and be sure to attend a panel session with H-E-B, Albertsons & Chipotle: “Nailing demand forecasts: From machine learning to replenishment and everything in between” on Tuesday, January 17th. Hear how these leading retailers are using predictive weather-driven demand analytics to better understand consumer purchasing and capture additional sales and margin.