FACTBOX: U.S. holiday shopping 2009 forecasts
(Reuters) - U.S. consumers are expected to head back to the malls beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving, giving at least a short-term boost to retailers in advance of the holidays.
Retail insiders cite still-pressured consumer spending by shoppers who are wary of opening their wallets, but forecast an improvement over last year's disastrous results. Here are holiday shopping outlooks from a variety of trade groups and research firms.
NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
* Expects a 1 percent drop in total 2009 U.S. holiday sales to $437.6 billion, compared with a 3.4 percent decline in 2008. The trade association expects that shoppers will spend 3.2 percent less on holiday gifts this year than last due to persistent worries over unemployment and the economy.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS
* Says U.S. holiday sales should rise 1 percent to 2 percent, and expects same-store sales, a key measure of retail strength, to be up 1 percent in the November and December period.
* The retail research company sees a 1.6 percent rise in retail sales during the holidays, but a 4.2 percent decline in shopper traffic to stores. That compares with a 5.9 percent sales decline in 2008 and a 15.4 percent fall in total U.S. foot traffic last season.
TNS RETAIL FORWARD Continued...