MONTGOMERY – Holiday sales in Alabama, defined as taxable sales during the months of November and December, are expected to reach $11.4 billion, according to the Alabama Retail Association.
As we approach the busiest shopping season of the year, the Alabama Retail Association presents the top 10 facts for 2016 about holiday shopping in Alabama.
10.) 41 percent of consumers plan on spending more on gifts than they did last year. There are also two extra days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, allowing for extra shopping time.
9.) Amazon is collecting and remitting sales taxes in Alabama for the first time ever, as of Nov. 1. The state expects Alabamians to purchase as much as $200 million in taxable merchandise from Amazon during the holiday shopping season.
8). Online sales, while still a small percentage of overall sales, continue to grow faster than in-store brick and mortar sales. The National Retail Federation predicts a 7 percent to 10 percent increase in online shopping over last year, compared with a 3.6 percent increase in overall sales nationwide.
7.) Many stores/malls that have been open on Thanksgiving in years past are choosing to close on the holiday this year, including Home Depot, Hobby Lobby and Lowes. Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville, Gadsden Mall in Gadsden and Wiregrass Commons Mall in Dothan have also announced plans to close on Thanksgiving Day.
6.) Black Friday is expected to be the third biggest shopping day of the year, behind Super Saturday (Dec. 17) and Dec. 23. Other big days are Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26), Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) and Free Shipping Day (Dec. 16).
5.) While Black Friday will still be a huge shopping day and a busy one for retailers, it’s lost some of its appeal. Retail tracking surveys attribute that to retailers launching post-Thanksgiving sales earlier, making Black Friday stand out less than in years past. Surveys also show that almost half of consumers (49 percent) want to avoid the crowds and stress of last-minute shopping by spreading out their holiday shopping.
4.) Shipping deadlines will impact when shoppers purchase their gifts. To get your gifts before Christmas, The U.S. Postal Service shipping deadlines are Dec. 15 for ground, Dec. 20 for First-Class Mail, Dec. 21 for Priority Mail and Dec. 23 for Priority Mail Express. Learn more about FedEx and UPS’s holiday shipping deadlines by clicking on the links.
3.) The average consumer plans to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday shopping season on gifts for others, self-spending, food, flowers, decorations and greeting cards, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey. 58 percent of consumers plan to buy for themselves this year.
2.) Season of giving: Shoppers plan to spend more than $200 of their holiday budget on their favorite charitable causes and 75 percent of retailers will make charitable contributions as well. Consumers say they favor retailers who are committed to social responsibility.
1.) The Alabama Retail Association is launching a statewide #ShopAlabama for the Holidays tour. The multi-city, kick-off tour is set for Nov. 17, 18, and 21 with stops in Auburn, Dothan, Fairhope, Montgomery, Mountain Brook and Tuscaloosa. In each city, Alabama Retail will hold a news conference in partnership with the local chamber and/or local businesses to encourage residents to support the retailers who support their community by shopping local for their holiday purchases. Elected leaders are scheduled to speak.
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Johnson Warnke | 256.338.0621