IBJNews

Purdue expert predicts modest bump in holiday shopping

November 1, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

American shoppers are expected to open their wallets just a little wider this winter holiday season, pushing sales up 2 percent to 4 percent, according to an estimate released Tuesday by the Purdue University Retail Institute.

But online purchases will surge 15 percent, according to predictions prepared by Richard Feinberg, a Purdue professor of consumer sciences and retailing. He also expects small local shops to struggle as recession-weary consumers flock to large discount- and value-oriented retailers.

“The fact that we will have an increase in holiday sales is a miracle,” said Feinberg, pointing out the national unemployment rate of 9 percent, with many more having given up looking for work.

Feinberg expects $475 billion in total holiday sales, with the biggest single item purchased being gift cards.

He also expects near-constant sales promotions, which retailers have used in recent years to capture gun-shy customers.

Retailers will use more direct e-mail marketing this year, as they have noticed they get much higher response rates than when using snail-mail direct-mail advertising. Retailers are also trying to drive customers to their websites, both for online sales as well as to promote their stores.

"Retailers are beginning to realize that their online presence has the potential to be their biggest store. This has led them to pay attention to their Internet presence in ways they have not done in the past," Feinberg says. "They also are finding that a well-designed website not only leads to online purchases, but to more store visits, too."

Last month, the National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, predicted winter holiday sales would rise 2.8 percent, to $465.6 billion.

That would be smaller than 2010's 5.2-percent increase, but it's higher than the average increase for November and December over the past 10 years.

And it would continue a recovery begun last year after holiday sales fell the previous two years. They dropped 4.4 percent in 2008 and 0.4 percent in 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Yep, Sure
    Nice, but it doesn't mesh with reality. Drive by any of Amazon's 4 central Indiana warehouses. The parking lots are still largely empty, even though the calendar says November. Nobody's filling all of these orders. Then there's Best Buy, who recently announced that instead of hiring 40,000 seasonal workers like they did last year, they'll get by this year on 20,000. I'd like to believe things are getting better, but they're not, at least not yet. People are throwing the furniture overboard now. I seriously question whether or not experts are simply naive, or if they are intentionally trying to convince us to spend. Sorry, but it's laughable at this point. The whole thing is unravelling right before our eyes.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. This is still my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. What I do love about the new version is it is much quieter than the most recent version. TV's were off, the music wasn't too loud, and the wait staff were not hyperactive like they had been the past few times I had been there. I just wish they would bring back the MOLE for the enchiladas!

  2. Not a bad paper. There is a need for local community news and city government issues. Don't really need the owner's constant national political rants. We all know where they stand by now.

  3. What nice people. Menard should've known better than to team up with the guy who robbed and drove Conseco to ashes. I'm surprised Timothy Durham isn't involved in this.

  4. Hello, I am Maris Peters, currently living in Texas city, USA. I am a widow at the moment with three kids and i was stuck in a financial situation in August 2014 and i needed to refinance and pay my bills. I tried seeking loans from various loan Companies both private and corporate but never with success, and most banks declined my credit. But as God would have it, I was introduced to a Man of God a private loan lender who gave me a loan of $65,000USD and today am a business owner and my kids are doing well at the moment, if you must contact any firm or company with reference to securing a loan without collateral , no credit check, no co signer with just 2% interest rate and better repayment plans and schedule, please contact Mr William David. He doesn’t know that am doing this but am so happy now and i decided to let people know more about him and also i want God to bless him more.You can contact him through his email: Davidloanfirm@yahoo.com

  5. It is beyond me how anyone can think this was a "bad deal" for the state! If they could take the money back then, yes, but they can't! Protections were built in the agreement. Now, if they roll the roads up and take them away, I will agree that it was a bad deal. Otherwise, the only way to have paid for the infrastructure that was badly needed was for the state to issue bonds....that is a four letter synonym for debt folks!!

ADVERTISEMENT