PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Christmas Sales are Critical for Many Small Businesses

By at 23 December, 2020, 10:30 am

by Raymond J. Keating-

The Christmas holiday shopping season is a big deal for a wide array of industries and small businesses. And that perhaps is more so the case during this pandemic economy than was the case in recent decades.

The National Retail Federation has noted that the holiday shopping season accounts for 19 percent of annual sales. And of course, retail overwhelmingly is about small business, with 91 percent of employer firms in retail having fewer than 20 employees, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

But those numbers break out differently within various retail sectors. For example, a Statista.com summary served up data (2018) by assorted sectors. The following highlights these percentages, as well as the percent of firms that are small businesses in each sector.

● For jewelry stores, holiday sales amounted to 26.7 percent of annual sales. And among jewelry retailers, 97.1 percent of employer firms have fewer than 20 employees.

● For department stores, holiday sales amounted to 23.8 percent of annual sales. And among department stores, 44.8 percent of employer firms have fewer than 20 employees.

● For clothing and accessory stores, holiday revenues amounted to 22.4 percent of annual sales. And among clothing and accessory stores, 94.4 percent of employer firms have fewer than 20 employees.

● For electronics and appliances stores, holiday sales amounted to 22.1 percent of annual sales. And among electronics and appliances stores, 93.2 percent of employer firms have fewer than 20 employees.

● For general merchandise stores, holiday revenues amounted to 20.4 percent of annual sales. And among general merchandise stores, 94 percent of employer firms have fewer than 20 employees.

● For sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments and books stores, holiday sales amounted to 20.4 percent of annual sales. And among sporting goods, hobby, musical instruments and books stores, 93.6 percent of employer firms have fewer than 20 employees.

The Christmas shopping season has this year been referred to as a do-or-die moment for many small businesses. That, in fact, has been and remains the stark reality for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of small businesses. Let’s hope that Christmas sales this year have been enough to allow many small businesses hang on, or even thrive.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

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