WEST PALM BEACH, FL -Furniture and home decore is on the shoppers' 2013 holiday list, with forecast of a relatively robust  4.9% percent increase in holiday sales this season. The growth figure includes retail sales of general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and home furnishings, consumer electronics and other miscellaneous categories and non-store sales for November through January.

FTI Consulting's 2013 Holiday Retail Report found an upbeat mood among retail and consumer products executives, who anticipate a potential silver lining to this holiday season, despite slowing discretionary spending growth in recent months and anxiety over Washington's political turmoil.

Consumers spending habits were also studied. FTI Consulting foundJust over half of Americans’ total holiday spending goes toward gifts for family and friends. However, the other half is spent to create the full holiday experience, with 17% for food, drinks and entertainment; 10% for holiday travel; 9% on holiday clothing and accessories; 7% on decorations and holiday home décor; and 6% toward charitable contributions.

"Our forecast for 2013 holiday sales indicates that this will be an average year by historical standards, but, nonetheless, one with which we suspect most retailers will be pleased," said Bob Duffy, who heads FI Consulting's Retail & Consumer Products practice  as well as its Finance/Restructuring segment.

"Department stores continue to be a closely watched segment of the retail sector given their challenge to stay competitive in today's value-oriented shopping environment, and these retailers need a strong holiday season to validate that their strategies are working,"  

The 2013 Holiday Retail Report (dowload it here) covers General Merchandise, Apparel and Accessories, Furniture and Other Sales retail sales and non-store sales for November 2013 through January 2014.  

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