WILKES-BARRE, PA. (Sept. 26, 2012) – A long holiday shopping season and a mood of optimism following the presidential election are among the factors cited by a Wilkes University professor as fueling holiday retail sales in 2012. Anthony L. Liuzzo, business and economics professor at Wilkes University, is predicting an increase of 3 percent in holiday retail spending for the current year. Liuzzo, who has been producing his holiday retail sales forecast for more than 20 years, tracks shopping trends and buyer behavior in making his annual analysis.
In making his 2012 prediction, Liuzzo notes that post-election optimism will be a positive influence, regardless of who is the victor at the polls. “There is a certain optimism on the part of voters that carries over into their retail spending habits. Consumer confidence should rise in the days immediately following the election,” Liuzzo says.
Thanksgiving falls very early on Nov. 22, making the shopping season 32 days long – the highest number possible. A long shopping season enhances retail sales. Christmas falling on a Tuesday in 2012 is another advantage. Retailers like for Christmas to fall on a Sunday or Monday because it fuels shopping the weekend immediately before the holiday. Tuesday works as well. “This means that there will be a full five weekends of shopping,” Liuzzo says.
Some other factors temper the positives in Liuzzo’s forecast. Consumer confidence remains low, for example, with unemployment hovering around 9 percent. Stock market performance, while improving, continues to be a bit uncertain, Liuzzo explains, as do other economic indicators such as the continued stagnant housing market. Consumer debt also continues to be a negative influence, with high credit card debt and bankruptcies still being problematic. A copy of the full 2012 holiday retail forecast can be accessed at www.wilkes.edu/holidayforecast.
Liuzzo’s annual predictions of holiday retail sales have been published in hundreds of newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, and New York Newsday. He has appeared on national radio and local television on numerous occasions, and has been the subject of articles appearing on CNN, and in The Detroit News and The Washington Times.
Liuzzo has predicted a conservative 3 percent increase – lower than last season’s actual 4.1 percent – because many economic uncertainties still remain. “Despite the fact that consumers indeed desire to spend much more this year than they did last year, they might be unable to do so, due to the continued high rate of unemployment, fears of job losses, extremely modest wage increases, the depressed housing market, and uncertainty in stock prices,” Liuzzo says.
Liuzzo’s forecast also contains valuable information about trends in categories of holiday retail shopping, including online sales, gift cards and discount retailers. He also predicts the big sellers each holiday season when discussing retail inventory. In 2012, he says the “in” toy will be the Furby, an updated, hi-tech version of the 1998 “must-have” holiday toy. It comes with an optional app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Another big seller could be the iPad Mini, a smaller version of the iPad expected to become a hit with both parents and children.
About Anthony L. Liuzzo
Dr. Anthony L. Liuzzo is professor of business and economics and director of the MBA and Accelerated Bachelor of Business Administration (ABBA) programs at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and at its location in Mesa, Ariz., as part of the city’s higher education consortium He is an attorney who has earned both his master of business administration degree and a doctorate in business administration. Dr. Liuzzo may be reached for interviews and more information at (570) 408-4709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university provides its students with the experience, mentoring and education necessary for career and intellectual development as well as personal growth. Named one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilkes offers the doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees and more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing. For more information, visit www.wilkes.edu