While the holidays are still a few months away, retailers in New York and across the country are hopeful that consumers will spend more this year.
The National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday sales will increase more than 2 percent to just over $447 billion. While that is an improvement from last year’s small increase, it is still down from the record total set in 2007 before the recession began.
“Though the retail industry is on stronger footing that last year, companies are closely watching key economic indicators like employment and consumer confidence before getting too optimistic that the recession is behind them,” said NRF president Matthew Shay in a press release.
The retail trade group believes that even with the increase in sales, consumers will still be on the hunt for low-priced gifts while retailers will try to manage their supplies and not lower prices and cut into profits.
The International Council of Shopping Centers estimates sales will increase by as much as 3.5 percent.
"The key story is that the retail recovery continues and that bodes well for the upcoming holiday shopping season" said Michael Niemira, chief economist for the Council.
In anticipation of more shoppers in their stores, several retailers, including Macys and Toys R Us, announced they will hire several thousand temporary workers.