Believe it or not—for all intents and purposes—the holiday season is upon us. The National Retail Federation has already put out its spending forecast for the season, and leaders of Hamilton Place Mall have already scheduled holiday events.
Leaders of the National Retail Federation are optimstic about the spending outlook for November and December, but a lot depends on what happens with the government shutdown.
“Our forecast is also somewhat hinging on Congress and the Administration’s actions over the next 45 days; without action, we face the potential of losing the faith Americans have in their leaders and the pursuant decrease in consumer confidence," President of the National Retail Federation Matthew Shay said in a prepared statement.
Leaders with the organization predict a marginal sales increase of 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion.
Last year, sales increased by 3.5 percent, and this year's increase is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales growth of 3.3 percent, according to the organization.
Holiday sales can account for between 20 and 40 percent of a retailers annual sales, and makes up about 20 percent of total industry annual sales, according to the organization.
“Overall, retailers are optimistic for the 2013 holiday season, hoping political debates over government spending and the debt ceiling do not erase any economic progress we’ve already made," Shay said.
And online sales are expected to increase this year.
Leaders with Shop.org expect only sales in November and December to grow between 13 and 15 percent, compared to last year, to $82 billion.
Seasonal work is also available as retailers nationwide expect to hire between 720,000 and 780,000 workers this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.
Amazon leaders announced earlier this month that they will be hiring thousands of seasonal employees in Tennessee.
Nationwide, the company will fill about 70,000 full-time seasonal jobs across its U.S. fulfillment centers this holiday season in order to meet an increase in customer demand, a 40 percent rise over last year, according to Nooga.com archives.
“Retailers will add hundreds of thousands of valuable jobs to the economy this holiday season, including extra staff for their distribution centers, store managers, e-commerce and mobile positions and helpful staff associates,” Shay said. “Teenagers, college students and adults love working in retail during the holidays, especially with the perks of employee discounts and being the first to see what’s added to store shelves. Additionally, as we’ve heard from several companies, these holiday positions offer thousands of people the opportunity to turn seasonal employment into a long-term dynamic and thriving career opportunity.”
Leaders of Hamilton Place Mall announced that their Santa Arrival Parade and 5K Reindeer Dash will take place on Nov. 9.
The Reindeer Dash 5k begins at 8 a.m. at Academy Sports and Outdoors and winds through the 200 acre shopping complex.
The event ushers in the official start of the holiday season and precedes the annual Santa Arrival Parade slated to begin at11 a.m., according to a news release.
Registration is $30 and all money raised will benefit the Hamilton YMCA’s Community Support Campaign.
The 15th Annual Santa Arrival Parade begins at 11 a.m. along the perimeter of the mall.
Local high school and middle school bands, community groups and businesses are invited to participate.
Last year, more than 1,000 participants took part in the parade, representing more than 50 various groups.
Entrants will compete in several categories including: Best of Parade; Best High School Band; Community Spirit Award; Most Holiday Spirit; Best Performance by a dance/chorus group; and Outstanding Commercial Entry.
“This is our favorite time of year, it’s wonderful to have so many families attend the parade to help us welcome Santa," Dan Wolfe, Hamilton Place General Manager, said in a prepared statement.
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