Press Release

Retail sales to rise 3.1 to 4.1% this holiday season, according to AlixPartners’ forecast

September 18, 2018

NEW YORK (Sept. 18, 2018) - AlixPartners, the global consulting firm, today released its forecast for US retail sales for the upcoming holiday season: The forecast anticipates an increase in sales revenue for retailers for the November-through-January period of 3.1% to 4.1% compared with comparable sales in 2017.

Joel Bines, global co-leader of the retail practice at AlixPartners and a managing director at the firm, said, “Our projection represents a slowing from the 4.9% year-over-year sales growth this year through August—though on the other hand that’s also off the base of a gangbusters holiday season a year ago, in which November and December sales in total were up 6.1%. All in all, while some may be counting on a repeat of last year’s unexpectedly stellar numbers, we’re advising our clients to be optimistic, yes, but also to remember that optimism is not a strategy—that detailed planning and then flawless execution should be front and center this holiday season.”   

Added David Bassuk, also global co-leader of the retail practice at AlixPartners and a managing director at the firm: “Retailers will have to do all they can to take advantage of this holiday season, as there won’t be any letting up from the competition, plus with the November elections coming up there’s no telling whether we might see some hiccups in the economy. But those retailers who take a holistic approach to their operations and their promotions could reap big rewards.”

AlixPartners’ holiday-forecast methodology is based on the premise that year-to-date retail sales through the end of the back-to-school season have historically proved to be perhaps the best gauge of what US consumers will spend during the holiday season. This is buttressed by the fact that, excluding a year ago, over the past eight years year-to-date sales through the back-to-school season have accounted for 66.1% to 66.4% of retail sales annually, and holiday sales have accounted for 16.8% to 17.0% of annual sales.

The AlixPartners forecast was first instituted in 2012, its numbers are seasonally adjusted, and it covers core retail sales, which excludes motor vehicles, fuel, and restaurants and drinking establishments.

About AlixPartners

AlixPartners is a results-driven global consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses successfully address their most complex and critical challenges. Our clients include companies, corporate boards, law firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and others. Founded in 1981, AlixPartners is headquartered in New York, and has offices in more than 20 cities around the world. For more information, visit

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Tim Yost

Director, Detroit