Matthew Shay

Taylor Knight is an associate content editor for Target Marketing and Total Retail. She enjoys writing and creating video content to interact with an audience.

Halloween marks the new kickoff of the holiday shopping season for retailers. According to multiple surveys, more Americans will celebrate the holiday then ever before. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that "more costumes than ever will be flying off the shelves" this year. Seventy-six percent of consumers plan to purchase a costume for Halloween festivities, a dramatic increase from last year's 65 percent. Collectively, total sales for retailers this Halloween are estimated to be around $7.4 billion. So, what's driving this growth?

Expectations for the holiday season are upbeat, even as retailers grapple with the fallout from slow summer sales and shifting consumer shopping habits. Retail sales in November and December are expected to hit $617 billion, according to National Retail Federation projections. That's a 4 percent increase over

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is moving forward with the creation of a program that will provide retailers access to information on cybersecurity threats identified by retailers, government, and law enforcement agencies and partners in the financial services sector. The program, developed in consultation with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), will launch with the establishment of an information-sharing platform for retail industry information security specialists, and plans call for a retail ISAC to be established in June. 

The National Retail Federation (NRF) released its 2014 economic forecast yesterday, projecting retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) will increase 4.1 percent, up from the preliminary 3.7 percent growth seen in 2013. NRF also announced it expects online sales in 2014 to grow between 9 percent and 12 percent. "Measured improvements in economic growth combined with positive expectations for continued consumer spending will put the retail industry in a relatively good place in 2014," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

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