Retail sales in the United States during the 2011 holiday season are likely to rise 3 percent in November and December, compared with a 4.1 percent increase during the same two months a year earlier, suggests a study released by ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based consulting firm. However, this is still better than 2001 when sales fell by 1.3 percent.
“The persistently high unemployment and fuel rates, along with consumers’ conservative purchasing attitudes will affect spending this holiday season, more than in recent years,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, as quoted by Bloomberg.
But, according to Shopper Trak, while lower-end retailers may face pressure to mark down items to compete with discount chainss Paul Lejuez, an analyst at Nomura Securities in New York, says that luxury companies like Tiffany & Co. should do well. Discount chains such as Ross Stores Inc. and T.J. Maxx may also have strong sales, he said.
“This year, we’ve seen the strong stay strong and the weak stay weak,” Lejuez said to Bloomberg. “Nothing is going to change that this holiday season.”