By: Andrew Asch
Forecasters across the board are predicting a solid holiday shopping season with an uptick in sales ranging from 2 to 5 percentage points over the 2018 shopping season.
However, analysts also warn that some curve balls might take a bit of cheer out of the season, which can make up 20 percent of a retailer’s annual sales, according to influential trade group the National Retail Federation. Because Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 28 this year, it effectively takes six shopping days out of the season. Demand for winter clothes might decline because of warm weather in some parts of the country, and unpredictable politics and trade wars might also dampen consumer confidence. . . .
. . . As with any other season, holiday spending is heavily influenced by weather. Planalytics Inc., a business consultancy that forecasts how weather will affect business, said that dry, hot temperatures in the Western U.S. during much of November drove down demand for winter clothes. Weather is forecasted to cool down in December, so demand for winter clothes will increase, according to Planalytics. . . .