Amazon vs. Wal-Mart Wars Heat Up for the Holiday Shopping Season
As the holiday season draws nears, retailers are gearing up to welcome the masses inside their stores, or in Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) case, to its website. The lucrative shopping season is embraced by companies annually, but reports show that this year, retailers will need to work extra hard to roll out the best deals and offer the best products. Consumer traffic is expected to be lighter, and the recent government shutdown has also made shoppers more cost-conscious and more reluctant to part with their holiday shopping dollars.
That’s not good news for companies like Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), which depend fiercely on holiday shopping success, but it’s a reality that all retailers are facing as they stock their shelves for the upcoming spending season.
According to Forbes, ShopperTrak published its forecast for the 2013 holiday season in September, and it predicted that retail sales in November and December will only rise 2.4 percent, compared to last year’s 3 percent increase and 2011′s 4 percent jump. Retailers haven’t suffered that low of a projection since before 2010, and they now also face the consequences of the government shutdown that sidelined federal workers, drastically affected consumer sentiment, and put a bad taste in Americans’ mouths everywhere.