A Purdue University retail management professor expects national holiday retail sales to hit $1 trillion for the first time. Richard Feinberg says job growth and lower gas prices have consumers willing to spend more this season. Despite retailers beginning their holiday promotions earlier and earlier, Feinberg expects most holiday spending to occur within the two weeks before Christmas. He says Indiana shoppers consistently reflect national trends.
Feinberg says a $1 trillion holiday shopping season would represent a 5-7 percent increase over 2014, which totaled around $960 billion. He also says 2015 could be the first year that online sales top 10 percent of all holiday spending. However, Feinberg says the Internet influences 60 percent of spending, thanks to customers searching online then spending in stores.
He says small businesses will continue to struggle to compete with larger retailers for a slice of the holiday spending pie. However, Feinberg says many smaller stores are maximizing technology, social media and "shop small" branding efforts. That includes the annual Small Business Saturday effort, which is set for November 28.
Some familiar names will likely be among the most popular brands during the holiday shopping season. Fineberg says a new slate of Apple products and products coming from a new Star Wars movie will likely result in some of the strongest demand.
Feinberg says small businesses will continue to face an uphill battle this holiday season.