NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Small retailers are optimistic about higher holiday sales this year, but most do not plan to translate that into hiring, according to a survey by Manta, an online community that helps customers find more than 64 million small businesses.
Approximately 49% of retailers say they are optimistic sales will increase this holiday season compared with last year, with the majority selling a mix of inexpensive and expensive merchandise, according to two weeks of polling ending Oct. 13. Manta questioned 792 small businesses, most of which have fewer than 10 employees, represented on its Web site. This is the first year the company has conducted the survey.
|Small retailers are optimistic about higher holiday sales, but most do not plan to translate that into hiring.|
Holiday retail sales are expected to be up 2.8% this year, to $456.6 billion, over the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.6%, says the National Retail Federation. That's lower than the 5.2% increase seen last year, the NRF says. On the whole, is predicting an "average" holiday season due to consumer wariness, extended high unemployment, higher gas and food prices and a teetering stock market.
On the one hand, customers seem to be valuing shopping locally as opposed to the big box retailers, business owners say. The Manta surveyed noted that 38% of respondents are heading into the holiday shopping season with better sales than last year. (Another 36% said sales were flat.)"Consumers in our community really seem to understand the value of shopping locally. We are hopeful this trend will continue through the upcoming holiday season and beyond," Beautiful Brains Books and Games President and CEO Jodi Black told Manta.
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