Holiday sales expected to grow by 3.9 percent
LAS VEGAS — With the sights and sounds of holiday cheer now in stores across Nevada, retailers and consumers have entered the final weeks of holiday promotions and gift buying for friends and loved ones.
Anchored by strong Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday sales, the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN), projects a 3.9-percent increase in statewide holiday sales this year. The Nevada estimates are slightly higher than the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) expectation of a 3.7-percent increase for the nation.
Bryan Wachter, Senior Vice President of RAN, noted, “The latest growth estimates are attributable to the burgeoning Nevada economy along with the ease and accessibility provided by online shopping, which is becoming increasingly appealing to shoppers.”
Based on estimates released by the NRF, RAN estimates more than 1.3 million Nevada residents ages 18 and over were either in stores or online searching for holiday deals from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, November 29, spending more than $400 million. For the first time, online shoppers slightly outnumbered brick-and-mortar shoppers, as many residents turned to faster Internet speeds and the comfort of their own homes to do their gift hunting. RAN estimates nearly 901,000 Nevada residents visited a store during Thanksgiving weekend, while more than 909,000 shopped online.
The increase in online shopping over Thanksgiving weekend was expected to take away from Cyber Monday this year. However, it ended up being the biggest online shopping day ever, with ComScore estimating a 21-percent annual increase in nationwide sales to $3.1 billion. The gain was fueled by a 53-percent gain in mobile sales, which rose to $838 million. The biggest online shopping destinations included Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Target and Best Buy. Based on data from the NRF, RAN estimates nearly 1.1 million Nevada residents shopped online Cyber Monday.
ComScore estimates nationwide online sales will increase 14 percent to $70.1 billion this holiday season, and according to data by MasterCard Advisors, e-commerce sales increased 16 percent from November 2014 to November 2015. Retailers have reported a new trend among shoppers, as more consumers use their smart phones or tablets to compare prices and make purchases after seeing an item in store, taking advantage of faster mobile speeds, special online promotions and free shipping offers. In anticipation of these trends, many retailers who operate both in traditional stores and online invested heavily in their online platforms in an effort to compete with online only retailers. RAN also notes there is no replacement for being able to touch and feel the quality of holiday gifts in retail outlets.
Though a large portion of holiday shopping takes place over Thanksgiving weekend, the holiday shopping season is far from over, and retailers should expect to see crowds in stores and online through the end of December. With many shoppers unwilling to brave the hectic atmosphere of Black Friday, a flood of shopping is still expected ahead of the upcoming gifting season.