There’s no time for retailers to dawdle this holiday season — Thanksgiving falls late in the month so the magical period from then until Christmas is six days shorter this year than last.
Despite that, the Alabama Retail Association predicts consumers in the state will buy more than $12.4 billion in goods, which would be a 3 percent spike over last year’s $12 billion mark. Retailers are using a variety of Christmas promotions, discounts and free shipping offers to whet consumer appetites as quickly as possible.
The association’s 3 percent holiday growth prediction is for all holiday taxed sales, including those from remote sellers.
The national holiday forecast, based on such alchemy as a well-performing economy, low unemployment and consumer optimism, calls for growth between 3.8 and 4.2 percent.
The Alabama Retail Association, formed in 1943, represents retailers before state and national lawmakers. It has 4,300 independent merchant and national company members.