North Carolina retailers are in excited anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), along with its 2,500 retail members across the state, want consumers to #ShopNC this year.
The Thanksgiving holiday ushers in the official start of the holiday shopping season and will be the biggest shopping weekend of the year. According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 69 percent of Americans — an estimated 164 million people — are planning to shop or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend.
Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year, giving shoppers one day more than last year. Christmas also is on a Monday giving consumers an extra weekend day to shop. Consumers surveyed said they would spend, on average, $967.13 which is up slightly from spending last year. Overall, holiday sales are expected to grow between 3.6 and 4 percent.
“We are excited about the growth expected during this holiday season,” said Steve Ashworth, owner of Ashworth’s Clothing in Fuquay-Varina, NC. “As an independent retail store owner in small town North Carolina, the holiday shopping season is an important time for many small businesses and, although we have seen strong economic growth this year, for many businesses holiday sales help them end the year successfully.”
Ashworth, who is also chairman of the board for NCRMA, encourages consumers to shop local businesses instead of shopping online.
“Our commitment to our communities, where we live and operate, is strong and deep, and we hope shoppers will visit brick and mortar stores like ours not only because of our excellent staff, superior customer service and specialty products we provide, but also to give back to their communities, by keeping their money local.”
For the 11th year in a row, gift cards remain the most requested item on wish lists, but will be the second most purchased gift item behind clothing and accessories. Books, music, movies and video games are also popular items on shopping lists this year.
Andy Ellen, president and general counsel of NCRMA, also wants consumers to #ShopNC for those gift cards and other wish list items.
“I hope North Carolina consumers will support the local businesses that support what they care about in their community – their schools, their youth organizations, their Food Banks, and employing their neighbors. These are the brick and mortar stores, both independent and chain, who are engrained in every community across the state who, along with employing one out of every four North Carolinians and collecting the sales taxes that fund our roads and schools, also sponsor the little league team, high school band and school spirit night.”
Contact: Ann Edmondson