Naughty or Nice?

Jennifer Nietz - Manager of Operations

December 2014 – Can you believe it is that time of year again? It is hard to believe we are already in December of 2014. You are probably well on your way into your busy holiday plans and knee deep in wrapping paper and bows… or, more like it, you haven’t even started thinking about your gift giving escapades. Well, once again for our December Industry Report Out, I will be taking a look at early predictions for the holiday season from the National Retail Federation, but also pairing that with some research on the E-commerce space, due to the rapid increase in online shopping around the holidays.

In October of 2014, the National Retail Federation was forecasting a very optimistic holiday season with retail sales up 4.1% over last year! These sales do exclude autos, gas, and restaurant sales. The 4.1% increase will actually bring sales to $616.9 billion. In the same time frame last year, we experienced growth; however, it was 1% lower for the same time period. This time period reviewed is from November through December and the revenue generated actually represents 19.2% of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. While spending is projected to increase, they believe that shoppers are going to be more sensitive than ever to find the best deals and will be price sensitive as they head to the stores or online. The NRF is expecting that retailers will respond to the consumer concern and we’ll hear much more about price, value, and exclusivity.

Now let’s discuss online shopping in 2014. is forecasting that online sales will grow between 8-11% this holiday season. Last year sales in this area also grew 8.6%. The below graphs and charts represent the E-commerce and Online Auction spaces and were just tabulated in September 2014. While this group makes up just a portion of the “online sales” market, it represents organizations like and, where big portions of holiday shopping are completed.

Based on the above information pulled from, you will see that the growth is still going to be significant in this area and will have a 5.9% annual growth over the next five years. While slowed from the previous 5 years, the almost 6% annual growth in any industry is quite significant. is boasting to be the last market share holder in the industry, outweighing all others, at 18.9% market share. The next closest E-commerce site is eBay Inc. at just over 3.0%.

These statistics are all very promising for our economy and our nation’s largest organizations in 2014. Regardless, if you shop at the stores or online, here is wishing you the best holiday season yet.

Questions or comments? Please contact Jennifer Nietz at