In this report, we take stock of the US 2017 holiday season thus far, providing an update on macroeconomic conditions, Black Friday weekend retail sales, holiday traffic, promotions and the weather. We also share our retail predictions for the rest of the holiday season’s biggest week.
The US macroeconomic environment is mostly positive, favoring consumer spending.
Total retail spending over the Black Friday–Cyber Monday weekend was strong and online sales over the weekend grew by 17.9% year over year.
Consumers are shopping more on mobile devices and mobile sales hit record highs on Black Friday, representing 46% of retail revenues that day.
Consumers are researching online before shopping in stores. Some 60% of shoppers surveyed said they are motivated by promotions, and holiday promotions have been in line with those offered last year.
For the holiday homestretch, we predict that retail sales growth will hit our earlier forecast of 3%–4%, that the biggest in-store sales and traffic days will be December 23 and 24, that retailers will have multiple opportunities to connect online with consumers and that shipping will be a wild card. . .
COLD AND DRY WEATHER HAS HELPED RETAIL SALES
According to Planalytics, a research firm that tracks the weather’s impact on retail, cold and dry weather in many US regions has had a positive impact on holiday sales, and recent light snow in unexpected places has helped lift seasonal purchases such as gloves and hats. Evan Gold, EVP of Global Services at Planalytics, said that it is simply a myth that consumers will shop regardless of weather. He said that December has been the driest in 50 years, and that cold and dry weather conditions in the East have positively influenced retail sales. Gold said that if this weather trend continues into January, home centers and department stores can expect to see positive impacts of $183 million and $153 million, respectively. . .