As vaccination rates continue to rise and consumers are more comfortable participating in activities outside the home, the retail sector is set to experience a merry holiday season. Many experts and reports are forecasting strong holiday sales growth with both in person and online purchases, with a robust consumer interest in personalized experiences.
Although some predicted that August retail sales would take a hit as a result of COVID-19 variants, sales data remained stable, increasing 0.8 percent from July 2021. “That August jump was a surprise from what everyone was expecting,” Mike Rittler, Head of Retail Card Services at TD Bank, said. “July was a little weaker than initially expected, but it is interesting to see how August sales overperformed given everything with the delta variant.”
Holiday Retail Sales Expected to Increase 7-9 Percent
According to a holiday retail forecast from Deloitte, sales are expected to increase between seven and nine percent, and ecommerce sales will grow by 11-15 percent, year-over-year, during the 2021-2022 holiday season. 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. The company’s retail and distribution team also anticipates an increased spend on services, including restaurants and travel, with spending on goods continuing to hold steady.
Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster, noted in a release sent to American Merchandiser that the 2021 holiday season increase reflects continued growth. Last year’s holiday sales came in higher than expected, growing by almost six percent. 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.
“Across channels, retailers should expect a strong holiday season as consumer spending levels are projected to remain high,” Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader, said in the release. “While consumer concerns about health and safety have eased since the last holiday season, pandemic-influenced shopping behaviors continue to gain traction. Retailers who remain resilient to shifting consumer behaviors will be poised for growth this holiday season, and into the new year.”
Pandemic Prompts a More Mindful Holiday Shopping Season
According to a Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report from Sitecore, more than half (53%) of respondents plan to make bigger and more mindful holiday purchases this year, fueled in part by the fact that 50 percent of consumers say they have more savings set aside for the holidays this year as compared to last year. Some mindful insights from the report include:
- 63% of consumers are willing to pay more for locally made gifts.
- 62% of consumers are annoyed when they find a purchase was made in China when they thought it was a local purchase.
- 78% of consumers stated that the pandemic has made them think more carefully about how they spend their money.
Made in USA Poised to Overcome Supply Chain Issues
Rittler says that while there is still a lot of opportunity in the market, consumers continue to have a demand for products, and the biggest challenge will be the categories that are impacted by the labor shortages and supply chain. Shoppers may look into spending in different categories, but there is a way flea market and swap meet sellers can help with this issue: buy merchandise that is made in the USA.
According to Mark Andol, founder and CEO of Made in America Store, the current supply chain crisis is yet another reason to buy American and to increase domestic manufacturing capacity. A massive shortage of toys is projected this holiday season, since most toys Americans buy are made overseas. Toys and games are a huge holiday gift category, so in order for vendors to keep consumers from looking elsewhere to buy what they need, the best option is to source made in America suppliers, which can easily be done on WholesaleCentral.com. Simply click on the ‘Made in USA’ product category, and a wide variety of USA companies will be shown.
If you are looking for some toys and gift ideas to offer your customers this upcoming season, here are some hot selling items that can make you a profit:
This photo board is the perfect gift for close friends. With “Our Friendship Isn’t a Big Thing It’s a Million Little Things” written on the left side, the right side offers plenty of room to include some photos. This is one of ilove’s best sellers.
As part of their new LTE Ornament Collection, this 2021 Holiday Limited Edition Collection is inspired by elegant holiday decor. Using unique glass and brass elements, Gingerbread Brûlée can fill any home with delectable notes of sweet vanilla and marshmallow layered with spicy ginger, cinnamon, and clove. Each candle is hand-poured in Arkansas and made with a proprietary wax blend, ethically sourced containers, and cotton wicks.
This family-fun ball toss game is ideal for backyards, the beach, parks, and tailgate parties. Barrel Ball is a new competitive ball toss game for players of all ages. A multi-generational game designed for everyone, Barrel Ball allows the parents to compete against the kids, girls against the boys, and mixed teams make for great fun. With the “Instant Win” feature, teams are never out of the game. When you are one point away from losing, you are just one throw away from winning.
Kevco Products LLC
Coming in four assortments, these Hautman/Norlien puzzles are fun and challenging for anyone over the age of 14. The different assortments include Spring Clean Up, New Day Dawning, Lakeside View, and Breakfast Bears. For only $3.85 per puzzle, vendors can make a huge profit from these puzzles.
Four Seasons General Merchandise
This remote control race car makes for a perfect holiday gift for any child. It can turn left, right, and move forward and backward. The car needs three AA batteries, and the remote needs two AA batteries.
Yong’s Trading Inc.
This Drawing Board by Toy Chef™ is not only entertaining, but is also the perfect tool for helping children develop cognitive and motor skills while having fun. The board allows children to draw mess free in color using the included stylus or fun themed stamps. When they are finished or ready to draw something else, move the erase stick embedded in the bottom of the board and like magic, the board is ready to start again. With its on-the-go handle, this draw and sketch board is perfect for home or on the go.
Kelli’s Gift Shop Suppliers
Bring this classic festival sand art activity to the next party, classroom, events, or local fairs. Kids love to layer the sand colors to create a memorable artist masterpiece. This pack includes 8 clear bottles with twist on/off lids, 2 sand funnels, and a rainbow of 10 sparkling sand colors.
Sandtastik Products Ltd
Dedicated to sisters everywhere, this beautiful coaster set makes for a unique gift. The set includes 4 coasters along with one decorative holder and measures approximately 4.5″ x 4″. 6 packs come with each order.
Roden Surplus Imports, Inc.
Including 8 different colors, this Disney Princess nail polish set is perfect for children. Each color features a different Disney princess so little girls can look like their favorite character. The peel-off removal process makes it less messy and easy to try on different colors.
This bath set makes it easy to spice up bath-time. These small balls of fun dissolve into the bath water to create a colorful and scented bath. The six bath bombs come packaged in a box and individually wrapped with brown paper. Each bath bomb has a different scent: bubble gum (chewing gum), sea, rose, lavender, ocean, and vanilla.