Drastic Drop in Holiday Sales Expected This Winter

Holiday sales (excluding car purchases, gasoline, and dining out) are expected to grow about 3.7% this year. This is higher than the 2.5% average over the past ten years but much lower than the 4.1% in 2014. Low income growth, slow job creation, and concerns about a possible government shutdown were all factors that led consumers to question whether they had the ability to buy the things they wanted. NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said: "We have to recognize that people are actually getting their goods, but they are probably getting them a little bit cheaper than last year", meaning that people are consuming goods, but they are bargain hunting more than they used to, which will increase competition among retailers. Another reason for the lower growth numbers is the fact that younger households have been benefitting from job and income growth more than any other demographic, but have been spending their money on cars, gasoline, and dining out, which do not appear on the NRF holiday tally. Other consulting firms agree that this year will show significantly less growth during the holiday season than last year.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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