Non-store sales are also expected to grow between 7 and 10 percent to nearly $117 billion.
The National Retail Federation anticipates U.S. sales in November and December (excluding auto, gas and restaurant sales) to increase a solid 3.6 percent to total $655.8 billion.
This is significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent and above the seven-year average of 3.4 percent since the market’s recovery began in 2009.
The NRF is also predicting non-store sales to increase between 7 and 10 percent to nearly $117 billion.
Additionally, PwC, an audit and assurance, tax and consulting service, expects U.S. holiday sales to increase 10 percent compared with the 2015 holiday season, according to its 2016 Holiday Outlook report.
PwC found that consumers increasingly prefer to receive gifts of travel and entertainment rather than traditional gifts; however, digital sales are expected to increase 25 percent. The survey also found that Millennials in areas such as Austin, Brooklyn, Oakland and Portland will likely spend $500 more this season than consumer overall.
Another highlight from PwC’s survey was that brands matter to 80 percent of respondents, whether it is an established household name or local business, and almost 75 percent of consumers will shop locally while 56 percent will seek independent retailers.
“Consumers have seen steady job and income gains throughout the year, resulting in continued confidence and the greater use of credit, which bodes well for more spending throughout the holiday season,” says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist, NRF. “Increased geopolitical uncertainty, the presidential election outcome and unseasonably warm weather are the main issues at play with the greatest potential to shake consumer confidence and impact shopping patterns. However, the economic spending power of the consumer is resilient and it should never be underestimated.”