Good tidings: Retailers should expect a strong holiday shopping season this year

holidayshopping-100221668-galleryby Dan Rafter

Retailers in the United States should expect a strong holiday shopping season, according to a recent report from Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield predicts that retail sales should rise during this year’s holiday shopping season by 4.1 percent. Why? A continued drop in gas prices, a lower unemployment rate and a predicted spike in consumer spending should all combine to provide a boost to holiday sales this year.

There are two extra shopping days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, too. That can only help holiday sales. At the same time, more retailers than ever will be open on Thanksgiving Day, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Then there are the optimistic numbers from the International Council of Shopping Centers. The council reports that 90 percent of U.S. shoppers are already starting to plan their holiday purchases. That number is up from 82 percent last year. Cushman & Wakefield says that this is an indication that retailers will start to see increased sales numbers earlier this year.

The council reported, too, that U.S. consumers plan to spend more this year on holiday purchases. The council’s survey said that 80 percent of participants plan to spend the same or more than they did last year on holiday purchases. This year, shoppers are expected to spend an average of $702 on holiday shopping, compared to $677 in 2014.

Cushman & Wakefield pointed, too, to a stronger overall U.S. economy. The brokerage cited a September unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, lower than the 5.9 percent rate one year earlier. Since October of last year, the U.S. economy has added 2.751 million non-farm jobs. The U.S. economy has averaged 229,000 new jobs a month over the last year.

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