NRF predicts 1% drop in holiday sales

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In data released October 6, the National Retail Federation predicted a less-than-merry 1% decline in this year's holiday retail sales.

The predicted decrease would be less than last year's drop. The country was already months into an economic crisis when the holiday season hit last year, and the retail industry experienced a dramatic 3.4% drop in overall sales. Some retailers, however, were hit significantly harder, seeing sales drop by 20% or more.

The bad news continued throughout this year for retailers. The NRF is predicting decline in sales of 3.5% for 2009.

The organization expects that despite some hopeful signs that an economic recovery has begun, continued uncertainty over job security and housing values will take a toll on spending this holiday season.

“The expectation of another challenging holiday season does not come as news to retailers, who have been experiencing a pullback in consumer spending for over a year,” said Tracy Mullin, president and CEO at NRF, in a statement. “To compensate, retailers' focus on the holiday season has been razor-sharp with companies cutting back as much as possible on operating costs in order to pass along aggressive savings and promotions to customers.”

For updates on this story, check DMNews on October 6.

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