Constant Force Displays (constantforcedisplays.com), a manufacturer of specialized retail solutions, is weighing in on what retailers can expect in the upcoming holiday season.
According to a new customer index from the University of Michigan, customer sentiment for this upcoming holiday season is up 3.6% over last year. The index takes into account how people are doing financially and whether they are likely to spend on big-ticket items. (Source: Tong, S., “Consumer sentiment under the holiday microscope,” Marketplace.org, November 13, 2015; http://www.marketplace.org/2015/11/13/business/consumer-sentiment-under-holiday-microscope.)
“Signs are suggesting that this year’s holiday season could be an improvement on last year’s,” says Alan Cundiff, Director of Operations at Constant Force Displays. “While a 3.6% improvement isn’t huge, it does indicate that people are feeling a little more financially secure this year.”
The index is commonly used by economists to predict retail business during the holiday season. It asks consumers how likely they are to spend money on certain products, including big appliances like refrigerators and ovens. The index can be a good indicator of whether middle-class families are likely to spend on high-value items.
“While retailers may not necessarily see more business, it could be that consumers are more willing to make big purchases,” Cundiff adds. “However, the index is just a prediction tool and can’t accurately predict business during the holiday season.”
Some economists have questioned whether some of the index’s metrics are outdated. While the index is certainly a good indicator of retail business, that’s all it is; it doesn’t take into account some popular products like laptops, so it can’t be used to draw conclusions from.
“Regardless of what the forecast is, retailers should take steps to optimize their businesses and improve sales,” says Cundiff. “With the increase in business, its important shelves stay stocked with products and inventory, which hiring seasonal staff and using a shelf management system can help with. Putting up holiday-themed displays and signs as another way to remind people to get gifts for their friends and family.”
Cundiff also recommends that retailers consider extra security precautions, and although they may not increase sales, but they can prevent losses.
Constant Force Displays specializes in retail solutions that help reach and sell more products and solve retail challenges. For more information on how Constant Force Displays can help enhance retail success, visit constantforcedisplays.com.