A survey of Kentucky retailers heading into the traditional 2019 holiday shopping period finds most have had a year as good or better than 2018 and expect this year’s holiday sales to match or exceed last year.
The Kentucky Retail Federation surveyed retailers of all types across the state on their perception of the local economy and what they expect during this year’s holiday shopping season. Of retailers responding, 82 percent said their local economy was better or the same as last year and their own financial condition had improved or was the same as last year; and 78 percent said they anticipated holiday sales to be equal or better than last year.
“While much of the national attention has been on the decline of brick and mortar stores, and despite the challenges of finding quality people to fill vacant positions, Kentucky’s retailers seem to be holding their own or seeing improvement in their local economies and own retail climate,” said Tod Griffin, president of the Kentucky Retail Federation. “Retailers are an important cog in their local economies and communities by providing local jobs and merchandise. It is encouraging to see so many of them report positively on their local economies and the upcoming holiday shopping season, perhaps their most important retail period of the year.”
Despite low unemployment rates, the majority of surveyed retailers expect to keep their workforce the same or add a few employees. They also believe consumer confidence is the same or better than last year. And in a continuing trend, retailers expect Small Business Saturday to be their biggest day of the holiday shopping season instead of Black Friday or Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas.
With Thanksgiving falling on the last Thursday of November this year, the traditional holiday shopping season is six days shorter this year. However, the National Retail Federation reports that 56 percent of shoppers have already started shopping and about a fourth of them are already done.
The Kentucky Retail Federation is the "Voice of Retailing" throughout the Commonwealth, representing retailers of all types and sizes since 1939. From Main Street to the mall, retailers enhance Kentucky's communities and provide a better quality of life for Kentuckians everywhere. Kentucky's retail industry supports 556,000 jobs and pays more than $9.3 billion in wages annually. Retailers collect over $2.8 billion in state sales tax and pay millions in other taxes to state and local governments.