Barrons Vito J. Racanelli
The Amazon threat still hangs over many bricks-and-mortar retailers, but the coming holiday season should be a happy one for most, according to projections from the National Retail Federation.
The NRF said Wednesday it expects retail sales in November and December—excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants—to increase between 4.3% and 4.8% over the year-ago period, or to about $717.5 billion to $721 billion, says NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. The sales rise projected compares with an average annual holiday season gain of 3.9% over the past five years.
Additionally, retailers have been preparing for their busiest season of the year by hiring extra staff to help meet the demand expected during the coming holiday season, despite an increasingly tight labor market, the NRF said in a press release. The national retailers’ trade organization says it expects temporary hiring of between 585,000 and 650,000 workers in this period, up from last year’s 582,500 in November-December.