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US retailers are mildly optimistic

Holiday sales could grow by 2.9%

  • Key4Communications

US retail professionals show cautious optimism before the holiday season. According to a survey by BDO, marketing managers of major retail companies expect a sales increase of 2.9% over last year, slightly below the 3.5% expected in 2010 and the 5.2% expected by the National Retail Federation.

However, the 100 leading retail companies are more optimistic: 67% of them expect an improvement in sales, compared to 41% of total surveyed firms.

Unemployment will affect consumers

According to retailers, the main risk is unemployment, which in America is around 9% and could have a negative impact on sales.

Retailers expect another year of discounts and promotions in order to start 2012 with lower inventories. This fear is guiding their purchasing decisions: 23% will increase their offer, but most of them, 65%, have kept the same buying volume as last year.

 Good prospects for toys

16% of retailers expect toys to be the best selling sector. Anyway, most retailers (58%) expect consumer electronics to be the best working category, driven by sales of tablets, smartphones and e-book readers. Toys are followed by apparel (11%) and home goods (10%).

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