What’s ahead for holiday retail sales?

We’re looking at the holiday retail sales forecast for this year’s retail and e-commerce shopping season. Who will be most successful and who will struggle to compete online and in-store? Cashback Industry News has the answers. The National Retail Federation predicts holiday shopping sales will increase between 3.6% and 4% over 2016. US retail sales could reach $682 billion the Federation said.

A new study from Market Track LLC reports only 30% of US shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day compared with 50% in 2016 and only 40% plan to brave the Black Friday crowds. US Commerce Dept research shows e-commerce sales were up 15.7% in Q3. Google is building a retail alliance that includes Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Ulta and Target. Its retail partner customers can now compete with Amazon’s Alexa by ordering products by voice on Google Express.

Amazon plans to double its fulfillment workforce by hiring another 120,000 temporary holiday season workers and may retain some workers  after the busy season. Unlike some major retailers, Macy’s will open for shopping at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Tough retail markets forced Nordstrom to postpone its plan to go private although it will revisit the idea next year.

Analysts are not optimistic about a turnaround at beleaguered Toys R Us. A recent industry presentation by AT Kearney highlighted the rapidly changing retail ecosystem and how consumers now search for, source and buy products. Alibaba is now the world’s biggest e-commerce company and its stock is up 109% this year.

What are your holiday shopping plans this year? Will you join the Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday crowds or enjoy time with family and friends? Retailers are hopeful they’ll see you.

Monday Stat: Holiday Sales Expected to Increase

http://www.giftsanddec.com/article/547269-monday-stat-holiday-sales-expected-increase/According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year. “Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season.” Via giftsanddec.com

NRF: Solid Holiday Season Forecast

US sales for the holiday 2017 season will increase 3.6 percent to 4 percent over last year. Excluding autos, gas and restaurants, U.S. retailers stand to rack up $678.75 billion in sales during the upcoming holiday season, according to a forecast from the National Retail Federation. The predicted 2017 sales performance might equal the 2016 holiday sales increase of 4 percent or it might dip slightly below it, according to the forecast. Via apparelnews.net

Shoppers expected to forego Black Friday lines this year

More shoppers across the United States intend to stay home this Black Friday weekend. This was according to a new study from Market Track LLC. Based on the 1,000 US shoppers that participated in the study, only 30% of respondents said they would shop in-store this Thanksgiving compared to the 50% that planned on ditching dinner in 2016. Participation rates for Black Friday look equally dismal with only 40% of respondents expecting to brave the sales floor. Via chainstoreage.com

New government data suggests e‑commerce sales jumped 15.7% in Q3

Retail sales transacted outside of stores increased 9.2% year over year in September. Total retail sales jumped 4.4% Growth in US retail sales that take place outside of stores, known as nonstore sales, accelerated in September, growing 0.5% compared with August 2017 and 9.2% compared with September of last year, according to retail sales data released today by the U.S. Commerce Department. An Internet Retailer analysis of the correlation between e-commerce sales and nonstore sales shows that e-commerce growth remains steady, growing at 15.0% in September compared with last year and 15.7% in the third quarter. Via digitalcommerce360.com

Google’s anti-Amazon alliance gains Target

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/13/googles-anti-amazon-alliance-gains-target.htmlGoogle and the country’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailers have one main problem in common: Amazon. Now both sides are acting like they are serious about working together to do something about it. On Thursday, Target and Google announced that they are expanding what was a years-old delivery partnership from a small experiment in a handful of cities to the entire continental US. Via cnbc.com

Target takes voice-activated shopping nationwide with Google

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/target-takes-voice-activated-shopping-nationwide-with-google.htmlTarget shoppers nationwide will now be able to make purchases on Google Express, after a successful test on the platform in California and New York, the company announced Thursday. The big-box retailer is among several that are deepening their relationships with Google’s voice-activated shopping platform in a battle for market share against Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices. Via cnbc.com

Amazon is hiring 120,000 people for the holiday season

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/amazon-is-hiring-120000-people-for-the-holiday-season.htmlAmazon is nearly doubling its fulfillment center workforce as it heads into the holiday season. The company announced Thursday it’s hiring 120,000 temporary employees to work in fulfillment centers across 33 states, adding to 125,000 existing full-time employees. New employees will help pick, pack and ship customers’ holiday orders at the company’s 75 fulfillment centers and could potentially be kept on after the season, according to a company release. Via cnbc.com

Macy’s will open early again on Thanksgiving this year

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/15/macys-will-open-early-again-on-thanksgiving-this-year.htmlMacy’s is preparing for another early kick off to Black Friday shopping on Turkey Day. BestBlackFriday.com, which tracks retailers’ holiday deals and hours, received confirmation by Sunday evening from seven U.S. shopping centers that their Macy’s locations will open at 5 p.m. Thursday. That compares to a 5 p.m. start last year, and 6 p.m. in both 2014 and 2015. Via cnbc.com

The retail apocalypse just sabotaged Nordstrom’s attempt to go private

http://www.businessinsider.com/nordstrom-stock-price-retail-apocalypse-sabotaged-go-private-attempt-2017-10It’s official: Nordstrom’s quest to go private is over — at least for now. On Monday, the family members who own the department-store chain suspended their attempt to sell the company to a private-equity firm through the end of the year. The news sent Nordstrom’s shares down as much as 6.1% in early trading. The company “intends to continue” its attempt to go private “after the conclusion of the holiday season,” it said in a press release. Via businessinsider.com

Why a Turnaround at Toys R Us Will Tank

Bankruptcy experts assert that Toys R Us is just running into the same headwinds that forced other big box retailers to file for Chapter 11: too much under-utilized real estate. While excessive debt and real estate overhang are contributing to the demise of the company, quite frankly, its real problem is far more severe. Here are the three key reasons why Toys R Us is going bankrupt and why its proposed turnaround actions may be futile Via entrepreneur.com

Emerson Group’s 10th annual Retail Industry Day wraps with forecast of retail’s future

http://www.drugstorenews.com/article/emerson-groups-10th-annual-retail-industry-day-wraps-forecast-retails-futureThe stark reality that reverberated with attendees of the Emerson Group’s 10th annual Retail Industry Day was simple — within a short period the entire ecosystem of how consumers seek, source and acquire products will change. And that change will accelerate thanks in large part to the coming of age of a generation of consumers who have never experienced a world without Wi-Fi. The constant connectivity that Generation Z has experienced since the day they were born will fundamentally change the parameters by which everyone competes, said Michael Dart, a private equity partner with A.T. Kearney and co-author of “The New Rules of Retail.” Via drugstorenews.com

Alibaba Tops Amazon to Become the Biggest E-Commerce Company

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/alibaba-tops-amazon-to-become-biggest-e-commerce-company-chartAfter 831 days, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. regained the title of the world’s biggest e-commerce company, albeit briefly. The Chinese retailer surpassed Amazon.com Inc. Tuesday on an intraday basis as the U.S. retail giant’s stock continued to stall after second-quarter earnings missed estimates and the merchant forecast a possible operating loss for the third quarter. Alibaba — whose stock is up over 109 percent this year — held the top spot for the first 9 and a half months after its initial public offering in 2014. Via bloomberg.com