October Retail Sales Up Due To Early Holiday Discounts

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Experts often use October retail sales to gauge how the holiday shopping season will fare. WOSU reports analysts predict shoppers will spend more this holiday season than last.

There was more spending going on in October than September. October retail sales were up slightly – 1.3 percent – over the previous month. But October sales grew by nearly eight percent compared to the same time last year. And this could indicate people will spend more this holiday season.

Rao Unnava is a professor of marketing at Ohio State. Unnava said October’s increase is closely related to early holiday discounts.

“Most people who have looked at the data for October predict what we are seeing as an uptick in sales is because of the discounts that have been given to consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season,” Unnava said.

While many people reigned in their holiday spending because of the down economy, sales have slightly, but steadily, increased since 2008. And Unnava said experts predict up to a three percent increase in spending this holiday season.

“This increases is expected is because of the discounts that are being offered. The one differences between previous years and this year is the sales increases that we will experience will be more consistent throughout the holiday season rather than a huge burst towards the end of the season,” he said.

Unnava said shoppers can expect to see deeper discounts throughout the holiday season, not just on Black Friday.