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Ellen Davis
Executive Gift Giving

It’s (officially) the most wonderful time of the year! November 1 marks the beginning of the holiday season, when retailers everywhere strain to get a piece of that $466 billion in U.S. sales. After releasing a holiday sales forecast in early October and distributing the first consumer survey mid-month, the National Retail Federation (NRF) took a look at some of the overarching trends based off survey findings, economic analysis and plenty of conversations with retailers.

While it may not seem like this holiday season is too different than years’ past — shoppers are obviously focused on prices and retailers are expected to be offering strong promotions even earlier — this is bound to be a holiday season like none other. Here are ten trends gleaned from our full data reports. read more »


The majority of consumers aren’t thinking ahead to the holidays yet, but retailers sure are. Though it’s still September, many businesses are already ramping up seasonal hiring initiatives to add to the nearly 25 million people employed by our industry.

According to National Retail Federation (NRF) data derived by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retailers hired over 453,000 seasonal employees last year — far more than the 231,000 they brought in during the 2008 financial crisis. read more »

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