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What's hot in retail - October '12

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Political fervor. Swipe fee shakedown. Big news for Retail's BIG Show. This is just small sample of the headlines from NRF last month. On the heels of the first Presidential debate, NRF launched Retail Means Votes, a new, non-partisan effort dedicated to educating and engaging America’s retail industry for the 2012 elections. As the legal process continues in the proposed swipe fee settlement, NRF stayed out in front when a weakly revised settlement was presented two weeks ago.  To top off the month, NRF announced the addition of Walmart President and CEO Bill Simon to Retail's BIG Show '13. Simon's keynote will focus on retail's leadership role on issues such as the economy and job creation. Read on for a full review of what the industry was buzzing about in October. NRF Information

  • The leading news for the month was NRF's announcement of the 2012 holiday forecast. The projection of a 4.1 percent increase in industry sales during the months of November and December is higher than 10-year average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent.'s online holiday sales forecast was also released for the first time, estimating that e-commerce sales will account for $92-96 billion of the $586.1 billion total retail sales during the holiday season.
  • Shortly after holiday forecast, NRF's holiday consumer spending survey quickly struck a chord with readers. The survey honed in on shopper sentiments driving spending plans for the winter holidays. Ongoing political and fiscal uncertainties are also reinforcing their budget-conscious habits. To maximize savings, retailers can expect over 40 percent of customers looking for holiday gifts to begin before Halloween, and over half to search online for gifts as well.
  • Staying hot during October was NRF's Halloween Headquarters and Halloween consumer survey. As always, the Halloween HQ serves as a one-stop shop for the all the spooky trends and research for America's scariest holiday. A record 170 million American's marked some kind of Halloween celebration on their calendars this year, and shoppers looked to enjoy the holiday by spending an average of nearly $80 on decorations, costumes and candy.
  • NRF's 4-5-4 calendar held true to being one of the most read resources on for 2012. For the eighth month, readers consulted this voluntary reporting guide which ensures sales comparability between years by dividing the year into months based on a 4 weeks – 5 weeks – 4 weeks format. To learn how the 53-week calendar is created, visit the 4-5-4 calendar FAQ page.
  • The new-and-improved Holiday Survival Kit rounded out October as one of NRF's most clicked resources. This electronic flip book of holiday sales, employment data and consumer trends is a guide to historical holiday research and tips free for anyone to enjoy. It also serves as an interactive guide for all the information you can find on NRF's Holiday Headquarters.

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