Holiday Sales Expected To Be Brisk This Year

On line sales projected to be higher than sales at brick-and-mortar stores.

Annapolis, Md (KM) It could be a little crowded  in the stores this holiday season. The Maryland Retailers  Association is forecasting a three- to four-percent increase  in sales during that time. MRA President Caliey Locklair says part of it is still due to some  pent-up demand on the part of consumers following the COVID-19 lockdown. “But consumers over time have just steadily increased their spending year over year,” she said. “And this year should be spending somewhere around $875 on holiday gifts, decor and other items.”

Locklair says consumers again will spend their money on gift cards, clothing, books and accessories.

But on line sales are expected to jump by nine percent compared to previous years. “This is something that’s not going go away and it’s part of what the retail landscape looks like now,” says Locklair. “And brick-and-mortar retailers, I think,  very clearly understand that and they’re competing.”

She says they’re competing by making trips to their  stores an experience, sometimes with special sales and price matching on line. And  there’s also “click and pick,” where a customer  orders a product on line, and picks it up at their local retailer. Locklair says that retailer hopes  that when customers are in a store, they may notice other products they want  or need, and buy them as well.

Locklair says a majority of consumers this holiday season will continue to do their shopping on line, in department stores and discount stores.

But she say’s during this holiday season or any time of the year, it’s important  to shop at your local, stores because  they impact the community. “Whether it’s with jobs, or tax revenue, neighborhood stabilization, all of those things contribute to creating communities that have things we call care about,” says Locklair. “So shopping at brick and mortar means that money goes directly back into your community.”

By Kevin McManus