The mad scramble between Thanksgiving and Christmas just got six days shorter. Black Friday once again kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. But with six fewer days than last year, it will be the shortest season since 2013 because Thanksgiving fell on the 28th—the latest possible date it could be. That means customers will have less time to shop and retailers will have less time to woo them, the AP reports. Adobe Analytics predicts a loss of $1 billion in online revenue from a shortened season. Still, it expects online sales will reach $143.7 billion, up 14.1% from last year's holiday season.
Last year’s holiday sales were hurt by turmoil over the White House trade policy with China and a delay in data collection by nearly a month because of a government shutdown. This year’s holiday forecast is above the average holiday sales growth of 3.7% over the previous five years. Black Friday is expected to once again be the largest shopping day of the season, followed by the last Saturday before Christmas, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending across all types of payments. The 2019 holiday season will be a good measure of the US economy’s health. Many retail CEOs describe their customers as financially healthy, citing moderate wage growth and an unemployment rate hovering near a 50-year low.
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