Momentum is good, but headwinds intensify
(NEW YORK) - The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) forecasts that U.S. holiday sales in 2011 will post a moderate gain, though somewhat subdued relative to its prior year’s pace. Based on ICSC’s metric of industry performance, shopping-center sales are expected to increase by 2.2 percent during November and December 2011 and relative to those same months of the prior year. In 2010, the holiday season posted a 5.0 percent gain following two back-to-back declines, which were a result of the severe 2007-09 recession.
“Although there are many statistics and surveys that convey the magnitude of holiday sales, the qualitative themes are more important than a ‘point estimate’ based on any specific metric,” noted Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and vice president for research.
“The ICSC holiday sales forecast contains at least four messages: (1) No matter which metric of performance is used, ICSC projects 2011 U.S. holiday sales are likely to advance at a slower pace than in 2010 as strong economic headwinds continue to persist; (2) The 2011 holiday season forecast also envisions a pace of sales considerably slower than during the first half of 2011 since retail sales generally advanced at a faster pace in early 2011 than during the 2010 holiday season; (3) Compared with the previous 10-year sales performance, 2011 is likely to be near-to-above average depending on the sales metric; (4) The economic and political risks are expected to be higher during the upcoming season than during 2010. But still, on balance, ICSC’s 2011 holiday sales forecast portrays a moderately healthy performance,” Niemira added.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 55,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.