Holiday Retail Sales Expected to Increase: Deloitte

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Holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 7 per cent and 9 per cent in 2021, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast.

Overall, Deloitte’s retail and distribution practice projects that holiday sales will total $1.28 to $1.3 trillion during the November to January timeframe.

Deloitte also forecasts that eCommerce sales will grow by 11-15 per cent, year-over-year, during the 2021-2022 holiday season. This will likely result in eCommerce holiday sales reaching between $210 billion and $218 billion this season.

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“We anticipate strong consumer spending for the upcoming holiday season. As vaccination rates rise and consumers are more comfortable being outside of the home, we are likely to see increased spending on services, including restaurants and travel, while spending on goods will continue to hold steady. A steady decline in the savings rate to pre-pandemic levels will support consumer spending and keep retail sales elevated this season,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster. “Further, eCommerce sales will continue to grow as consumers demonstrate an ongoing and steady movement toward buying online across all categories.”

Bachman noted that the 2021 holiday season increase reflects continued growth. Last year’s holiday sales came in higher than expected, growing by 5.8 per cent. The 2021 forecast projects a strong growth rate amid already elevated retail sales and growth in disposable personal income that is likely to remain flat heading into the season. However, the Delta variant and ongoing uncertainty spurred by the pandemic may drive more spending on goods.