What you need to know

US retail sales in November and December are predicted to reach $787 billion in 2019, up nearly $20 billion, or 2.3% over 2018. Macroeconomic factors at the time of writing paint a positive picture for the coming months, as does the fact that 84% of shoppers say they intend to shop this year (up two percentage points versus last year). Still, retail sales growth year over year is expected to show deceleration as uncertainty around a recession, tariffs and other unknowns abound. Two thirds of shoppers want to get their shopping done as fast as possible, but still, more than six in 10 want the flexibility to express their creativity while gifting, entertaining and decorating during the holidays. This year, they’ll have less time to do this as the season is shortened by almost a week. Ecommerce and mobile commerce will reach new heights, due in part to the condensed timeframe, and promotions will likely be more attractive than they ever have been before.


For the purposes of this Report, “holiday shopping” refers to expected consumer expenditures on holiday-specific items such as gifts, decorations, seasonal candy and other food, greeting cards, and other expenditures.

The Report’s focus is on Winter holidays (eg Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) as these represent the bulk of total holiday expenditures.

This Report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Winter Holiday Shopping – US, June 2018 and August 2017.

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