The good news: retail sales are expected to increase this year.
The not-as-good news: many consumers may be waiting until the last minute to finish their holiday shopping.
The third annual Retail Finance Outlook study which was published by finance provider CIT Group reveals that although 80 percent of retail executives predict that holiday sales will either increase this year or stay the same as last year, 37 percent expect to see an increase in last-minute shopping, and 38 percent predict stronger post-Christmas shopping because of price-conscious and bargain hunting consumers.
The study also reveals that one-third of executives expect Black Friday sales to increase, more than a quarter expect Cyber Monday sales to be on the upswing, and almost a quarter expect Super Saturday – December 24th – to be more profitable than last year.
Furthermore, the study concludes that social media will be a valuable avenue for driving consumers into stores this season – with 60 percent of executives shifting marketing dollars away from old media and towards new media like social campaigns. The study shows that 68 percent of executives report an increase in marketing and deals through social channels like Facebook and Twitter, and 63 percent claim that their Web sales are either growing, or growing faster than other channels.
“In what has been an otherwise mixed season thus far, retailers are doing whatever they can to maximize their holiday sales season,” says Burt Feinberg, Group Head of CIT Commercial & Industrial. “This preparation includes shifting marketing dollars away from old media toward new media to get the consumer in the door or on their Web site.”