The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

Record sales, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions forecast for holiday shopping

By Christina Estes
Published: Friday, November 12, 2021 - 9:12am
Updated: Friday, November 12, 2021 - 9:14am

Scottsdale Fashion Square
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Shoppers at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Retail sales are expected to be 8.4% higher this holiday season, according to research from real estate services firm CBRE. Sales at brick and mortar stores are expected to grow 8% while online sales are expected to jump between 10% and 15%. 

Jamie Brooks, with CBRE’s Los Angeles office, thinks local, independent retailers who survived the past 18 months will emerge stronger.

“As people were forced to kind of stay in place, they began really revisiting their community and I find a lot of brand loyalty in some cases, even paying elevated prices to shop local and that’s a trend that’s starting to transition into some of our traditional shopping centers,” he said.

CBRE’s research finds foot traffic at malls is up 0.7% since 2019 while open air shopping centers are seeing a 2% increase. 

Retailers typically focus on improving the customer’s experience, but this year with nearly everyone facing a labor shortage, there’s more emphasis on improving the employee’s experience.

“A few years ago many employees were being forced to work on Thanksgiving holidays but now with the season being spread out I think employers are being more accommodating,” Brooks said. “In addition,  every month you hear about another major increase in the minimum wage.”  

With some retailers struggling to get — and keep — enough product on their shelves, gift cards are expected to be hot sellers. 

Online shopping is expected to account for 20% of total holiday sales.

Historical and forecast U.S. holiday sales in billions

Holiday retail sales figures
Deloitte, KPMG, Mastercard, National Retail Federation, CBRE Research, Q3 2021
Holiday retail sales figures are comprised of U.S. retail sales in November and December, excluding auto, gas, and restaurants.

BusinessCoronavirus Retail + Consumer