Halloween isn’t even behind us, but FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) is already predicting holiday cheer. On October 23, the shipping company issued a statement saying that it expects the biggest shipping day this year to come on Cyber Monday, December 2. FedEx anticipates 85 million shipments during the first week of December this year, a 13 percent increase from its busiest week last year.
FedEx isn’t the only one gearing up for a big holiday season. The National Retail Federation (or, NRF) is predicting a strong holiday sales period. The NRF is anticipating a 3.9 percent increase in sales compared to last year, bringing the total spent on the holiday season to $602.1 billion.
Slightly paradoxical is that this number is set to increase, but individual spenders plan on trimming their holiday budgets, spending, on average 2 percent less than they did in 2012. In its survey of shoppers, the NRF discovered that 29 percent would consider the fiscal crises in Washington when approaching their holiday budgets. Smarter shopping techniques and budgeting is an aspect of holiday spending benefiting retailers with a web presence, and as a result, companies involved in shipping.
In attempts to find the best deal, many shoppers plan to go online. Over half of respondents to the NRF, 51.5 percent, said they planned use the Internet for holiday purchases. Buyers also plan on using the Internet as a tool to find the best deal. As a result, shipping now weighs more heavily in the minds of consumers, and 3.4 percent of consumers now find free shipping, or a promotional offer on shipping the most important factor. This number has risen from last year when it was 2.9 percent.
It is possible this did not escape FedEx’s attention. FedEx also announced that it would be introducing “FedEx One Rate” a flat rate shipping option. The company will also be offering a new delivery service, “FedEx Delivery Manager”, which allows deliveries to be tailored to an individual’s schedule.
FedEx provided a breakdown of its busiest shipping days since 2007. In that year, December 17 saw 11.5 million shipments, this number swelled to 19.9 million on December 17, 2012, with an increase occurring in each intervening year. Patrick Fitzgerald, the Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Communications at FedEx to the Washington Post that an average day sees 10 million FedEx shipments.
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