While Holiday Sales are expected to drop 1% in 2009, it is still a marked improvement from the 3.4% drop in 2008. Hopefully the smaller decline in holiday sales is an indication that retail sales have bottomed out and the market is slowly stabilizing, if not recovering. Overall, 2009 retail sales are expected to be down 3%.
NRF defines “holiday sales” as retail industry sales in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.
For many retailers, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 25-40 percent of annual sales.