MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Retailers typically look forward to the holiday season as a time for major profits. But this year, retailers could be singing the blues by the time the Christmas holiday shopping season concludes.
Wells Fargo said that overall spending should increase 3.7 percent, which is less than last year. In addition, spending on a per capita basis is expected to drop from $752.24 in 2012 to $737.95 in the 2013 holiday shopping season. It would be the first per capita drop since 2009 if it comes to fruition.
In a prior estimate, Morgan Stanley pegged the forecast at a 1.6 percent increase in same-store sales at softline retailers during the holiday season. Morgan Stanley said a shortened season, poor mall traffic, and weak consumer confidence will contribute to a worse-than-average holiday shopping season.
There is one bright spot for sales as both Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley reported that big ticket items (home improvements, cars, appliances) continue to show major growth.
In addition, financial analysts said the gridlock that continually grips Congress, is contributing to a lack of economic growth. It’s a message that former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke repeatedly gave to Congress during the jobless recovery.
Still, retailers may already be factoring in the lack of consumer spending into their Black Friday plans. Several retailers have decided they will open on Thanksgiving Day to try to get a jump on the large sales planned for Black Friday.
But, the deals may not be much better than last year. In fact, some of the deals may be exactly the same as last year.
Consumer website nerdwallet.com analyzed 25 Black Friday ad scans and discovered that all but two of them listed at least one product at the exact same price last year and this year. Nerdwallet also reported that some of the duplicate deals are listed as “doorbusters” this year.