Notwithstanding early inventory concerns from industry analysts, the 2013 holiday retail sales numbers managed to come in within a tenth of a point of National Retail Foundation predictions, landing at $601.8 billion. The NRF’s holiday predictions, released in October, forecast a 3.9% sales increase for the 2013 holiday shopping season. A shortened holiday shopping season, an early Hanukkah, weather concerns and general economic worries loomed over the start of the season.
NRF President Matthew Shay attributes the against-all-odds success to industry leaders’ resilience and insight into their customer’s desires. Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF’s Chief Economist, did note however that “undoubtedly, some of the increase came at the expense of margin.” This is, of course, to be expected. Regardless, having a close working relationship with a trusted corporate trade partner could have reduced sleepness nights.
Continuing the good news – because gift card purchases are not included in these sales numbers and given economic and environmental considerations, this holiday season may end up being even more impressive in coming months as gift card redemption will begin to trickle in for the post-holiday price cuts and spring shopping seasons.
Find out more about how corporate trade can protect you from the ups-and-downs of retail fluctuations.