DETROIT (WWJ) – Thanksgiving is still days away, but Michigan Retailers are already “gearing up” for a holiday season they predict will be good, if not better than last year.  WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports pre-“Black Friday” sales are already under way.

According to projections made by the Michigan Retailers Association, holiday sales should increase by 6 percent over last year. An MRA survey showed that 54 percent expect to increase sales and 35 percent foresee no change from last year.

Jim Hallan of the MRA says he’s encouraged by the high level of optimism for the holiday season by his members, but warns these are just predictions.

“These are predictions from retailers that have been in business for a long time, so they gauge their best projection going in. Usually they’re pretty close, but they’ve been disappointed in the past. They’ve also exceeded their projections. So, it’s always nice to see more optimism then clouds in the forecast,” said Hallan.

The survey also found that nearly 9 of 10 Michigan retailers expect positive holiday sales this year.

That Michigan optimism surpasses national forecasts for the season. The International Council of Shopping Centers and National Retail Federation separately predict total U.S. retail sales will climb by at least 2.8 percent during the holidays.

Looking forward, 45 percent of retailers expect sales during October–December to increase over the same period last year, while 24 percent project a decrease and 31 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 61.4, up from 61.1 in July.

For complete coverage on Black Friday and this holiday shopping season, click here.


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