Historic holiday sales expected in 2021 | The Numbers Racket

NRF said it expects retailers to hire anywhere from 500K to 665K seasonal employees, compared to 486K seasonal hires in 2020

By: - November 29, 2021 6:30 am

Sales for the 2021 holiday season are expected to increase by more than $66 billion over 2020 numbers, setting a new record, according to the National Retail Federation, a Washington D.C.-based retail trade association. 

The trade association says it’s expecting an increase of  8.5 percent to 10.5 percent, which amounts to a jump of $843.4 billion to $859 billion, over 2020 holiday spending numbers. 

“There is considerable momentum heading into the holiday shopping season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are in a very favorable position going into the last few months of the year as income is rising and household balance sheets have never been stronger. Retailers are making significant investments in their supply chains and spending heavily to ensure they have products on their shelves to meet this time of exceptional consumer demand.”

Additionally, NRF said that it expects online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, to increase between 11 percent and 15 percent for a total between $218.3 billion and $226.2 billion accounting for online purchases, an increase from $196.7 billion in 2020.

Historically, holiday spending has increased by varying rates every year since 2009, following the Great Recession. 

Increased sales aren’t the only growth expected during the 2021 holiday season. NRF said it expects retailers to hire anywhere from 500,000 to 665,000 seasonal employees, compared to 486,000 seasonal hires in 2020. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic was a boon for online holiday sales in 2020, NRF said it expects that many households will shift back to in-person shopping this year for a “more traditional” shopping experience. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.