The winter holidays make or break most retailers.
Now that the frost is on the pumpkins can Black Friday be far behind?
More and more, October is seen as the gateway to the holiday shopping season. As soon as Halloween is over, consumers gear up for the holidays, which leads us to Black Friday. Traditionally, the Friday following Thanksgiving (this year November 24) was the day many retailers went from operating “in the red” all year and “into the black.” The term “Cyber Monday” is now applied to the Monday following Thanksgiving when online shopping begins its holiday rush.
In 2005, furniture and home furnishing stores reported $22.09 billion in sales during the winter holidays (November and December), which accounted for nearly 20 percent of their total annual sales.
For 2006, the National Retail Federation is expecting an overall five percent increase in holiday retail sales. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores and specialty stores. They exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations and restaurants.
For most consumers (37.4 percent), holiday shopping begins next month, while 18.5 percent begin in October. But 15.3 percent are ahead of game and began holiday shopping before September, the Federation reports.
The National Retail Federation represents an industry with more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments and more than 23 million employees.
(in billions of dollars)
Winter Holidays - $438.6
Back to School/College - 47.8
Mother’s Day - 13.8
Valentine’s Day - 13.7
Easter 12.63 -
Father’s Day - 9.01
Super Bowl - 5.3
Halloween - 3.29
St. Patrick’s Day - 2.7
Source: National Retail Federation, 2006