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Retail Forecasts Signal Strong Growth for Upcoming Holiday Season 

Corporate, NSGA News • October 31, 2022

By Nick Rigitano 
NSGA Director of Insights and Analysis 

DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (October 31, 2022) – With the holiday season quickly approaching, the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) has been keeping note of the holiday sales growth forecasts released by multiple organizations. The overall sentiment from the retail holiday forecasts is strong growth is expected for the upcoming season with the largest gains being driven by the e-commerce channel. 

According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, holiday retail sales (November 2022-January 2023) are likely to increase between 4%-6% compared to last year. Last year’s holiday sales came in higher than expected, growing by 15.1%. E-commerce is expected to play a big role again this holiday season and is forecasted to grow between 12.8%-14.3%. 

“The lower projected growth for the 2022 holiday season reflects the slowdown in the economy this year,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster. “Retail sales are likely to be further affected by declining demand for durable consumer goods, which had been the centerpiece of pandemic spending. However, we anticipate more spending on consumer services, such as restaurants, as the effects of the pandemic continue to wane.” 

Bachman added “inflation will also help to raise dollar sales, although retailers will see less growth in sales volume.” 

Mastercard is anticipating US retail sales to grow 7.1% this holiday season (Nov. 1-Dec. 24), according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures overall retail sales across all payment types. In-store sales are expected to remain strong, rising 7.9% compared to 2021. Mastercard notes that while e-commerce has seen marked growth in recent years, in-store spending made up more than four-fifths of retail sales from January-August 2022. 

In addition, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is predicting a 6.7% year-over-year growth in retail sales this holiday season (November and December). The ICSC also noted that 89% of consumers said inflation would impact their holiday purchases. Those shoppers said they would buy brands on sale or promotion (42%), shop at retailers that generally sell lower-price goods (37%) or do more research online than usual to find better deals (32%) in response. 

Inflation was also the most common reason consumers cited for spending more this season, with 40% identifying it as a key driver, ahead of wanting to go above for friends and family (25%) and planning bigger celebrations (20%). Regarding purchase channels, the ICSC expects consumers to take advantage of omnichannel shopping with 94% of holiday shoppers planning to make both an in-store purchase and an online purchase with a retailer. 

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently announced its prediction, which expects sales in November and December to increase between 6%-8% vs. last year. This year’s forecast compares lower to last year’s previous high of 14 percent in 2021, which was the highest growth rate in more than 20 years. The forecast is, however, above the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.7%. Non-store and online sales year-over-year, which are included in the figure, are expected to grow between 11%-13% as consumers continue to utilize ecommerce. 

The holiday outlook appears to be positive for Canadian retailers as well. According to the Retail Council of Canada’s (RCC) 5th annual Holiday Shopping Survey, Canadians are likely to spend $790 on average this holiday season, which is about the same as the previous holiday season of 2021. While concerns over supply chain delays and potential disruptions from new waves of COVID still linger, the RCC’s study identified that retailers with lower prices, discounts and free shipping will appeal to 81% of consumers and will likely have the most impact in driving sales this season. Supporting local retail also continues to be important to Canadians as 74% believe it is important to shop locally. 

For tips and best practices in merchandising your store, be sure to check out NSGA’s Guide to a Better Retailing Experience. This guide can help store owners enhance the retail experience at their stores and includes ideas and suggestions for each aspect of a retail store including the storefront, cash wrap, floor and wall fixtures, graphics, floors, lighting, fitting rooms, and casual seating areas. The guide is free to NSGA members and is one of the most downloaded reports offered by NSGA. 

NSGA members can download a copy of the report by clicking here.


Deloitte Mastercard Retail Council of Canada Holiday Shopping Research ICSC NRF Retail NSGA