Holiday Shopping Facts and Figures

By: Global Administrator

December 09, 2013

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s also the biggest for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, nearly one-fifth of the retail industry’s annual sales come directly from November and December. This year, retailers are expected to bring in more than $602 billion.

To put into perspective just how big end-of-year sales are for business, keep in mind that retailers will take in more this holiday season than Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Father’s Day and Halloween combined. By comparison, the next biggest shopping event is back-to school season, which recently brought in an estimated $72.5 billion.

As a primer of what you can expect this year, here are a few more notable holiday numbers to take into consideration:

$2.9 billion
Amount retailers estimate that they lose due to return fraud during the holiday season

$602.1 billion
Projected holiday retail sales for 2013

2012 Holiday Retail Sales By Sector


Sales in Millions

Percentage of Annual Sales

Building and Garden Equipment and Supplies



Department Stores



Electronics and Appliance Stores



Furniture And Home Furnishing Stores



Jewelry Stores



Expected increase in sales this year

Average increase in holiday sales for the last 10 years

20% to 40%
Percentage that November and December sales contribute to a retailer’s annual sales

Percentage of shoppers who begin their holiday shopping before Halloween each year

Average amount that shoppers spent on holiday items (gifts, decorations, food and more) in 2012

15% to 13%
Expected increase in online holiday sales, estimated to bring in as much as $82 billion this year

Source: National Retail Federation. For more information, visit

Filed Under: Holiday, retailers, sales, shopping