[IMGCAP(1)]

LOS ANGELES-Retail sales growth in October, despite the government shutdown, has boosted holiday sales expectations, according to a research brief from Marcus & Millichap by managing director of research and advisory services, Hessam Nadji. In October, core retail sales experienced a .3% bump while overall retail sales increased by .4%. This year, holiday spending is estimated to increase by 4% from last year.

Holiday sales have grown year-over-year. The 4% increase is an estimate based on percentage growth in past holiday seasons. The chart below shows that, with the exception of 2008 and 2009 during the recession, retail sales have continued to increase. Retailers who expected sales to drop during October’s government shutdown and near default now have an increased confidence going into the holiday season, the report explains. The report, however, suggests that holiday sales growth may be “uneven” due to better wage growth in “the upper scales of the income spectrum.”

The October retail sales increase shows a recovering economy amongst the pending problems in Washington D.C, at least in the retail sector. Gas stations and building materials stores were the only sectors to experience a decline. The report attributes the decline to a drop in gasoline prices and a drop in distressed home sales due to rising home prices.

Retail sales are currently 20% above the 2008 and 2009 recession drop, increasing demand for retail space by 4%. With this continued retail growth, the report predicts retail vacancy rates will drop to mid-7% by the end of the year and low-7% in 2014.

Although the outlook is good and retailer confidence is up, the holiday shopping season is nearly a week shorted this year. To aid in achieving growth goals of 4% or $10 billion per day, Jones Lang LaSalle created a guide of five retail strategies. The list accounts for ecommerce sales, utilizing space and creating a retail experience to draw in customers.

[IMGCAP(2)]