The 2016 holiday shopping season was a success for American retailers, yet there was a large disparity between online sales, which surged 15% above last year’s figure, and traditional stores, which saw stagnant or declining traffic in many cases.
The recent holiday shopping season was a good one for retailers, with anticipated growth of 4.9% from last year’s figures, the best growth rate since 2005. Total expected sales likely surpassed $1 trillion for the first time ever, with the average American adult spending $419.
Yet the retail world is changing as e-commerce grows in popularity. Many of the winners of this season were online retailers, such as Amazon.com, which saw their profits soar to record highs. Conversely, a number of longtime icons, including Macy’s, Kmart and Sears, announced major layoffs and store closings for the end of 2016.
Online Sales Surge
Cyber Monday has been with us for more than a decade, but this year’s entire shopping season had an online emphasis. While final figures might be a long time in coming, it is already obvious that Amazon experienced its best season ever, with more than 1 billion items shipped worldwide. The artificial intelligence voice-controlled Amazon Echo assistant was a major factor powering the company’s surge. Read More