Friday , February 26, 2021

U.S. Holiday Sales Could Top $1 Trillion, With Mobile Payments Growing 32%

Research firm eMarketer Inc. forecasted that 2019 U.S. holiday sales will surpass $1 trillion in value for the first time. Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, is expected to be the biggest online shopping day and could approach $10 billion in sales.

With Thanksgiving falling on the last Thursday of November, this puts Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, on a prime day. New York City-based eMarketer predicts that U.S. holiday retail sales will increase 3.8% to $1 trillion in what it says could be the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season. 

“Holiday spending growth will be driven by a consumer economy that remains robust, due to low unemployment, rising wages, a strong stock market, and healthy consumer confidence,” eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman said in a statement. “At the same time, rising tariffs, trade-war tensions, stock-market volatility, and dampening consumer sentiment all weigh on the season’s growth potential. A shortened calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas also presents a challenge.”

EMarketer predicts in-store sales this holiday season will increase 2.5% to $872.3 billion, representing 86.6% of total sales. E-commerce sales will increase 13.2% to $135.4 billion, accounting for 13.4%.

Individually, consumers are planning to spend more. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $1,047.83 this year, up 4% from $1,007.24 in the 2018 holiday season. Overall, the NRF predicts retail holiday spending will be between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion, a figure that excludes sales at automobile dealers, gas stations, and restaurants.

Separately, eMarketer said U.S. proximity mobile-payment transactions will total $98.9 billion in 2019 and grow 31.8% to reach $130.4 billion in 2020. By 2021, the value will be $161.4 billion.

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