“Small retailers” and “middle market retailers” are optimistic about holiday sales and predict growth for the fourth quarter and into 2017, according to the American Express Holiday Growth Pulse. (For the survey, “small retailers” refers to companies with fewer than 100 employees with at least $250,000 in sales. “Middle market” refers to retailers with $10 million to $1 billion in annual revenues.)


Optimistic that stockings will be filled with goodies

59% | Percentage of small retailers who predict holiday sales will be stronger compared to last year
34% | 2016 holiday sales predict they will be roughly the same as last year

77% | Percentage of middle market retailers who plan to hire additional staff for the holidays
31% | Percentage of small retailers who plan to add staff for the holidays

Retailers feel the pressure to discount

Given the importance of the holiday season, small retailers are putting a great deal of effort into making sure they see strong results. Small retailers feel they will need to offer sales and promotions during the holiday sales season.

64% | Percentage of small retailers who expect to discount and use sales promotions
58% | Percentage of small retailers who expect to start offering holiday discounts the same time as last year
42% | Percentage of small retailers who expect to start offering holiday discounts earlier than last year

Retailers increasing social media use this holiday seasons

89% | Percentage of small retailers who will utilize social media this holiday season
81% | Of those using social media, the percentage using Facebook

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