Firm Projects Slowest Holiday Growth Rate in Years

Stamford, Conn., ?Archstone Consulting, a management consultancy and brand-innovation firm, said that holiday retail sales will increase 3% in 2007, barely keeping pace with the projected inflation rate of 2.7%. This reflects the slowest growth rate in retail holiday sales over the last five years.

“Retailers will see limited growth in holiday spending, resulting in a ‘season of discounts’ that will reward savvy shoppers,” said Dave Sievers, retail and consumer-products practice leader of Archstone Consulting. “Retailers have already begun aggressive discounting.

“While this tactic will drive shoppers to the stores, it won’t allow retailers to overcome the adverse economic factors that will affect sales, including the downturn in housing and a tightening credit market.”