Predictions Mixed For Holiday Sales

10.06.09 | FL News Team

Depending upon who you listen to, holiday sales will either be up slightly, down a bit or about the same as last year. "USA Today" reports the National Retail Federation today will release their official forecast, which predicts holiday sales will be down one-percent. That contradicts last week's prediction from the International Council of Shopping Centers, which said it saw a one-percent increase in predicted sales. Another forecaster, Deloitte, two weeks ago said it thought sales would be flat.

Retail strategist John Long says the forecasts are more of a "nice to know" than "need to know" indicator because retailers have already placed holiday orders and analyze sales on a daily basis. "It's largely a guessing game," Long says. The analyst from consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates, adds, quote, "The only thing you can take to the bank about this holiday season is that it's not going to change very much from last year, except perhaps for less panic."

Some retailers are hedging their bets. Wal-Mart said last week that it has more than 100 ten-dollar toy specials, and Kmart launched an online layaway program yesterday.