Strong Growth Expected in Online Channel
Arlington, Va., September 30, 2013 - Total retail sales for the November through December holiday sales period are expected to increase by 4.0 percent over last year, reaching $738 billion in total revenue*, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® 's 2013 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast report released today. CEA will release its full 2013 holiday sales trends forecast, including the 20th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, at CEA's Industry Forum on October 22.
Strong online channel sales will drive overall holiday retail sales growth this season, according to the forecast. Online sales are expected to hit a new sales record, growing 18.7 percent to reach $57 billion. Mobile purchases, expected to surpass $8 billion for the first time, will grow by 35 percent and account for nearly 15 percent of all online holiday purchases.
"The online retail channel will dictate holiday sales this season," said Shawn DuBravac CEA's chief economist and senior director of research. "Retailers and manufacturers should take note of shifting shopping habits as consumers increasingly turn online and to their mobile devices to make purchases."
CEA expects overall retail sales during the 2013 holiday season to be roughly on par with 2012 holiday sales. Last year, consumers spent $709 billion at retail during the holiday season, according to CEA. CEA forecasts subpar growth of just 2.7 percent for General Merchandise, Apparel and Accessories, Furniture and Other Sales (GAFO)1 during the 2013 holiday season, creating a drag on overall holiday sales.
"Overall retail holiday sales growth looks healthy for 2013," said DuBravac. "However, significant economic risks remain unresolved, and these could still negatively impact how much consumers decide to spend this holiday season."
To access the 2013 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast, visit CE.org/holiday. CEA will host a Twitter chat on Wednesday, October 2, at 4:30 pm EST with Shawn DuBravac to discuss 2013 holiday sales trends and expectations using #CEAholiday.
*CEA's holiday retail sales definition encompasses all retail sales excluding restaurants and gasoline stations.
 GAFO is a traditional measure of retail sales used by many forecasters to measure holiday sales. GAFO accounts for about 28 percent of total retail sales. GAFO excludes retail categories like online retailers and vehicle dealers.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $203 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES - The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media.