Holiday Sales Forecasts: Black Magic or Science?
The nation's retailers, anticipating what forecasters believe will be a lackluster holiday shopping season, are launching big sales promotions earlier than ever before. But how accurate are forecasters' predictions?
A lot is riding on the accuracy of the predictions economists make about how much merchandise shoppers will scoop up between Thanksgiving and December 31: holiday sales traditionally account for up to 40 percent of a store's annual sales.
Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation, tells ABC News that merchants rely on holiday predictions when deciding everything from how to manage inventory (how much to stock of what products) to how many extra sales people they should hire. His own prediction, he says, will be out October 4. "I'm working on it now."