At the height of last year’s winter pandemic surge, retail spending in Alabama during the holiday shopping season of November and December topped the 2019 figures by 11.6%.
Retail sales for the year to date are up some 20% above last year, and the Alabama Retail Association sees the uptick continuing through holiday shopping times.
“As much as an 11% growth in 2021 holiday sales in Alabama over the traditional holiday spending months of 2020 could clearly happen, even though in early predictions national economists predict holiday sales will grow about 7% this year,” the association says in its forward-looking statement.
How does that translate into dollars? Growth of 7% in November and December would mean about $14.796 billion. If sales reach the association’s target of 11% growth, that would mean $14.802 billion.
Whatever the percentage, the association is confident that a record-setting season is in store. They base their prediction on all taxed sales, including those by remote sellers.
The association notes that holiday shopping has already kicked off in October, and organization member’s say that’s a smart move by consumers.
“If you see something, go ahead and get it or take advantage of layaway,” recommends Ginger Milligan, owner of Fantasy Island Toys in Fairhope. George Jones, owner of Snoozy’s Kids in Mountain Brook, agrees: “If you see something, jump on it, wrap it and be done. You’ll be glad you did, because when you come back it might not be here.”