Industry Updates

February 12, 2024

NRF Says Census Data Shows 2023 Holiday Sales Grew 3.8% to Record $964.4 Billion
U.S. Census Bureau data shows that core retail sales during the 2023 holiday season grew 3.8% over 2022 to a record $964.4 billion, easily meeting the National Retail Federation’s forecast despite continued inflation and high interest rates, NRF said. Sales for the full year grew 3.6% over 2022 to a record $5.13 trillion. | More Information 

Wiley X Announces a Brand Refresh and New Products for 2024
Wiley X, a global leader and pioneer in premium protective eyewear, is excited to announce it will undergo a brand refresh in 2024 that will enhance the company’s dedication to protection, performance and style. As part of this initiative, the brand has refined its values, announced new products, and introduced an updated logo coupled with the new tagline, Protection for Life. “Our mission from day one was to build the world’s best protective eyewear,” said Dan Freeman, CEO and Co-Owner of Wiley X. “Part of that mission is the tireless pursuit of ways to improve our product and our company. That has led us to update our brand by introducing a new logo, refreshed values and all-new innovations in our eyewear.” | More Information 

Steve Hornady is Honored NSSF Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award 
NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, today presented its highest honor—the Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award—to Steve Hornady, President of Hornady Manufacturing Company, a company known worldwide for its innovative, quality ammunition products.The award was presented at NSSF’s Members Meeting during the industry’s annual trade show, the SHOT Show®. “Steve’s dedication to our industry and to the shooting sports, as well as his generosity of time and support toward organizations working to protect our traditions, are known far and wide,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “I can think of no more worthy recipient of the NSSF Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award than Steve. It’s an honor to present this award to him.” The NSSF Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves by their longterm commitment to the success of the industry and by their support of NSSF’s mission to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. | More Information 

Valentine’s Day Spending on Significant Others to Reach New Record, NRF Survey Shows
Valentine’s Day is returning to its romantic traditions, with total spending on significant others for the holiday expected to reach a record $14.2 billion, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. “Retailers are ready to help customers this Valentine’s Day with meaningful and memorable gifts,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With consumers prioritizing their spouse or significant other this year, retailers expect to see a shift in spending for certain gifting categories.” | More Information 

Industry Updates

January 9, 2024
Report: Merchandise Returns Reach 14.5 Percent in 2023 
Retailers have been focused on efforts to mitigate returns, as total returns for the industry amounted to $743 billion in merchandise in 2023, according to a report released by the National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail*. As a percentage of sales, the total return rate for 2023 was 14.5 percent. According to the report, for every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer reportedly incurs $145 million in merchandise returns. The report noted that online sales do see a higher return rate, with 17.6 percent, or $247 billion, of merchandise purchased online returned. That compares with 10.02 percent, or $371 billion, for pure brick-and-mortar returns, excluding online orders that are returned in-store. | More Information 

Report: U.S. Holiday Season Retail Sales at Low End of Forecast
U.S. retail sales, excluding automotive, increased 3.1 percent year-over-year (YoY) this holiday season, according to a report from Mastercard SpendingPulse* measuring the period from November 1 through December 24. The results came at the low end of the National Retail Federation’s forecast growth in the 3 percent to 4 percent range and fell a bit short of Mastercard’s forecast calling for a 3.4 percent increase. The results fell short of last year’s 7.6 percent gain and were roughly in line with inflation this year, suggesting flattish unit sales. | More Information  

Industry Updates

November 17, 2023

2023 Holiday to Reach Record Spending Levels 
The National Retail Federation today forecast that holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022 to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. Despite a slower growth rate compared with the past three years, when trillions of dollars of stimulus led to unprecedented rates of retail spending during the pandemic, this year’s holiday spending is consistent with the average annual holiday increase of 3.6% from 2010 to 2019. | More Information 

NRF Economist Says 2023 Holiday Sales Will Have a ‘Whole New Set of Dynamics’
Every retail holiday season since the pandemic has been unique, and that will be the case again this year, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “This year, a whole new set of dynamics is in place,” Kleinhenz said. “The average household remains on relatively solid financial footing despite pressures from still-high inflation, stringent credit conditions and elevated interest rates. Recent revisions to government data indicate that consumers haven’t drawn down as much of their pandemic savings as believed earlier, and savings are still providing a buffer to support spending. The overall story for this holiday season is that it looks very good.” | More Information 

Industry Updates

November 6, 2023
Hunters Celebrate More Than 25 Percent Surge Over Past Five Years
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the results of their latest U.S. Hunting and Fishing Participation survey and it shows that some of the positive trends the firearm industry saw over the past few years have taken hold and have likely become more enduring than previously thought. The new data is noteworthy not just because of the direct impacts it represents in terms of supporting jobs and local communities, but also for the substantial funding that goes back to state conservation and wildlife management efforts. | More Information 

Consumers to Spend Nearly $900 to Celebrate the Winter Holidays
Those celebrating the winter holidays expect to spend $875 on average on gifts, decorations, food and other key seasonal items, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The amount is $42 more than consumers planned to spend in 2022 and is in line with the average holiday budget over the last five years. | More Information 

Deloitte: Concerned Consumers Still Expect
Higher 2023 Holiday Spend

A survey from business services firm Deloitte indicates that consumers will spend more in this year’s holiday season than they did in any since the COVID-19 pandemic. The gain in expected holiday spend to $1,652 each represents a compound annual growth rate of just 2.5%, Deloitte pointed out, but a 14% year-over-year increase. In a somewhat merrier holiday mood, 95% of survey respondents said they plan to celebrate, up from 92% in 2022 and 88% in 2021, reflecting a return to pre-pandemic levels. | More Information 

Industry Updates

October 19, 2023

Import Cargo Slowing Along with Spending Growth 
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major container ports has already hit its expected peak for the year and should gradually slow headed into the holiday season, according to the Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. With consumers worried over the impact of inflation and high interest rates – particularly for groceries, automobiles and mortgages – discretionary spending growth is slowing, and retail cargo imports are expected to decline, Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. Consumer spending grew 1.8% year over year in the second quarter rather than the 2.3% originally estimated, and NRF said last month that retail sales for the year could come in at the low end of its forecast of 4%-6% year-over-year growth. | More Information 

Retail Sales Grew in September, But Core Year-Over-Year Gains Are Slowing 
Retail sales continued to grow in September even as consumers faced continuing economic pressures, the National Retail Federation said. “September retail sales show that consumers have retained the ability and willingness to spend despite accumulating economic headwinds from higher interest rates and slowing growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “As we gear up for the holiday season, we expect moderate growth to continue as consumers focus on value and household priorities. Retailers have been hard at work getting holiday inventories in place to provide consumers with great products, competitive prices and convenience at every opportunity.” | More Information 

Vista Outdoor to Sell Ammo Business to Czechoslovak Group
Vista Outdoor Inc. signed a definitive agreement to sell its Sporting Products ammunition business to Czechoslovak Group a.s. (CSG) for an enterprise value of $1.91 billion in an all-cash transaction subject to customary closing conditions. This transaction represents the next step in Vista Outdoor’s plan to split the company into separate entities, which was previously announced on May 5, 2022. CSG, based in Prague, is a leading industrial technology holding company, operating within five strategic business segments, including defense, aerospace, ammunition, mobility and business. CSG is 100 percent owned and led by Michal Strnad, who has transformed it into a leading Czech industrial group with a strong international footprint. CSG employs more than 10,000 people worldwide and it owns and manages a diverse portfolio of industrial and trade companies across the defense and civil sectors. | More Information 

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