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BMO Experts Expect Stellar Holiday Shopping Season Buoyed By E-Commerce

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American retail sales (excluding autos and gas stations) expected to rise four percent, year over year, this holiday season E-commerce across the United States is in the midst of a strong year, growing at a steady annual rate of approximately 15 percent Toys experiencing a fourth consecutive year of growth, despite glut of movie-themed toys (top toys include: Fingerlings by Wowwee, LOL Surprize by MGA Entertainment, Hatchimals by Spinmaster, JoJo Siwa dolls and PJ Masks by Just Play, Luvabella by Spinmaster and POP! By Funko)

NEW YORK, Nov. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – As Americans prepare for the biggest retail weekend of the year, BMO analysts and economists are forecasting a notably strong U.S. holiday shopping season. This year, shoppers will benefit from rising purchasing power and anticipated tax cuts, and toy sales will experience a fourth year of growth despite an overabundance of movie toys and general toy sale softness.

“There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about holiday shopping this year, largely because American consumers are backed by strong demand fundamentals,” said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. “With unemployment rates reaching 17-year lows, consumer confidence at 17-year highs and household wealth at record highs, we expect the 2017 season performance to be the best since 2014, with sales rising at a solid four percent annual rate.”

Looking forward, BMO experts expect continued challenges for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, but also see significant opportunities as e-commerce players leverage technology to improve service and reduce prices.

“Amazon has been a retail disruptor and a major driver of the growth of e-commerce in the United States,” said Dan Salmon, Analyst, BMO Capital Markets. “Shopping through Amazon has increasingly become the preference for many Americans, as the company utilizes artificial intelligence and other technologies to improve logistics and keep prices competitive. With strong quarterly growth in the sector, continued increase in Prime memberships and perks, the outlook for this e-commerce giant is strong.”

E-commerce across the United States, in general, is in the midst of a strong year, growing at a steady annual rate of around 15 percent.

“As e-commerce continues to grow faster than traditional retail sales, we will see positive implications for industries such as packaging, shipping and warehousing,” said Mr. Guatieri.

For the toy industry, movie fatigue has cut into manufacturers’ potential sales. But, innovative toys profiled through social media, early rising

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