What percent of sales occur during the holidays?

Q. This is the first Christmas for our jewelry store. We're hearing conflicting claims about how much business we'll do. Do you have any guidelines for how much of our annual sales we can expect during the holiday shopping season?

A. As with everything else in retailing, there are no guarantees. Competition is so fierce, especially at this time of year, that you can't just open the doors and expect to clear your shelves. The fact that you aren't yet well established also could mean lower than average sales for the season.

All that said, there are some guidelines provided by the National Retail Institute. Nationally, jewelry stores report that 23.8 percent of their annual sales occur during December and 9.2 percent during November--the two biggest months of the year.

Some December sales guidelines for other trade lines: national chain department stores, 15.3 percent; discount department stores, 13.6 percent; apparel and accessory stores, 13.6 percent; electronics stores, 13.4 percent; sporting goods and bicycle shops, 13.5 percent; all retail stores, 10.1 percent.


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