The holiday shopping season will kick into high gear today as consumers flock to online retailers in search of Cyber Monday deals. A recent survey from global consulting firm Deloitte found that 53% of people will rely on Cyber Monday for discounts, compared to 44% who seek discounts on Black Friday. Whether it’s online or in-store, Butler University economics professor Bill Rieber says this should be a good holiday season for Hoosier retailers, based on positive economic indicators.
“Ten years ago if you look at unemployment in Marion County, it was over 10% during the great recession, it’s under 3% today,” said Rieber. “Wages are growing about 3% plus throughout the economy, inflation is under 2%, the stock market is up 17% and more people are seeking jobs, so the purchasing power is certainly higher.”
Rieber talked about the holiday shopping outlook on this weekend’s edition of “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick.”
Rieber expects online retailers like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) to be among the big retail winners this holiday shopping season, but says WalMart Inc (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) are now “in the picture” because of their huge networks of brick and mortar stores. “They have so many stores and people can order online from WalMart and Target and the stores can deliver from their locations, or people can actually go the stores and pick the goods up themselves.”
Retailers will face a compressed holiday shopping season this year, with six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, compared to last year.