It appears that confident consumers stocked up on holiday gifts and other merchandise over the 2014 holiday season, helping boost overall holiday retail sales to their highest level since 2011, according to the National Retail Federation.
Holiday shoppers took advantage of deep discounting and early sales to lift retail spending in November, says the National Retail Federation. Not including automobiles, gasoline stations or restaurants, retail sales increased 0.6% seasonally-adjusted over October and 3.2% unadjusted over November 2013. Gains were consistent with NRF’s holiday sales forecast, which anticipates an increase of 4.1% over last year.
Retailers are assertively preparing their shipping operations to avoid delivery and service issues this year, according to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, which found that nearly 80% of retailers surveyed will set their standard shipping deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery to expire at least one week before the big day, compared to just over 73% who said so last holiday season. Additionally, roughly 21% will set those deadlines to expire Dec.