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Small Business Owners Optimistic About Sales This Holiday Season

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 12/1/2014

American Express OPEN survey shows that nearly half of all retailers expect strong sales and revenues this holiday season, resulting in more perks for employees and customers.

The holiday season can be a nerve-wracking time for retailers since annual earnings hinge on a robust holiday shopping season.

Retailers Optimistic

But according to a recent American Express OPEN Small Business Holiday Monitor survey, 47 percent of retailers are expecting strong holiday sales and revenue this year.

This year's level of optimism is a notable increase from 2013, when just 30 percent of retailers felt confident about their holiday season prospects. As a result of increased optimism, small business retailers are planning to provide additional perks to customers and employees.

According to the survey, 58 percent of small retailers will provide client/customer gifts this year, compared to 41 percent in 2013 in 51 percent in 2012.

Additional survey findings included:

  • Holiday Discounts -- When it comes to pricing, 63 percent of small business retailers said they do not plan to discount their products or lower prices to increase holiday sales. The vast majority of retailers (70%) intend to start holiday promotions at the same time as last year.
  • Employee Bonuses -- Forty-two percent of small retailers will give their employees year-end bonuses in 2014, a significant increase from 27 percent in 2013. Average bonus amount will be 15% this year, compared to 13% in 2013 and 9% in 2012.
  • Holiday Parties -- Almost half the small retail employers surveyed (44%) said they would throw an office holiday party, up from 32% in 2013.
  • Holiday Outlook -- Nearly two-thirds of retailers (58%) described themselves as "Santa Claus" this year, while 31% described themselves as "Scrooge."

Optimism and the ability to maintain positive workplace morale during the holidays are signs of a good leader. As a retail business owner, it's important to be realistic about the revenue opportunities that exist during the holidays. However, it can be just as important to remain upbeat and share the holiday spirit with your employees.

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