The view

Holiday sales could surpass $1 trillion mark for the first time, UB expert says

Inside a shopping mall at christmas time.


Published November 21, 2018

headshot of Charles Lindsey.
“We’re looking at low unemployment, increased wages and disposable income, and high consumer confidence. ”
Charles Lindsey, associate professor
School of Management

While conservative estimates predict $700 billion in holiday revenues, UB faculty member Charles Lindsey says a number of factors could tip sales over the $1 trillion mark this year.

“We’re looking at low unemployment, increased wages and disposable income, and high consumer confidence,” says Lindsey, an expert in retail marketing strategy, brands and consumer behavior in the School of Management. “In addition, Thanksgiving is early this year, which means an extended shopping period between Black Friday and Christmas.”

An associate professor of marketing, Lindsey says the best deals depend on the day and the items.

Many Black Friday deals will start early — on Thanksgiving or sooner — and yield deep discounts of 30-40 percent or more on big-ticket items like computers, electronics, appliances and smart home items, he says.

And Cyber Monday deals — starting Sunday or earlier — will be on smaller ticket items such as apparel, and retailer-wide and category-wide discounts.

Lindsey also recommends using the following apps and websites to make holiday shopping less stressful:

  • Shopular: Gives you location-specific promotions, deals and alerts. Also, allows you to actually be part of a community of shoppers and share/receive shopping information.
  • Santa’s Bag: Helps you manage your holiday budget for everybody on your “nice” list.
  • Track prices of items on Amazon, including the low and high prices for a particular item.
  • The best deals in various product categories.