FTI Consulting Projects U.S. Online Retail Sales Will Grow to $512 Billion by 2020

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FTI Consulting, Inc., (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, forecasts that 2014 online sales will hit $300 billion, rising to $335 billion next year and $512 billion by 2020. According to its 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast: More Mediocre, despite sluggish retail sales over the past year, FTI Consulting's Retail & Consumer Product experts believe online sales will continue to grow at a double-digit rate for the next several years.

FTI Consulting reports that the online channel's share of total retail sales (excluding autos and gasoline) is now approaching 11 percent compared with 7.4 percent in 2010. The online channel also accounts for approximately 15 percent of General Merchandise, Apparel and Accessories, Furniture and Other Sales ("GAFO") category spending during the holiday season. FTI Consulting believes that nearly three-quarters of the growth in sales will accrue to the online channel. The continued momentum of the online channel is led by mobile devices, which are today a driving force in holiday shopping.

"While we approach the 2014 holiday season with a fair degree of caution, we believe the online channel remains the juggernaut of the season for many retailers," said Steve Coulombe, Senior Managing Director and Co-Leader of the Retail & Consumer Products practice. "We have slightly increased our forecast for online sales compared to a year ago due to the growing potential of this channel. In this millennial age, mobile devices, and particularly tablets, have in a short time revolutionized consumers' approach to online shopping. While the online channel will give retailers a much needed boost in sales, it leaves minimal opportunities for brick and mortars to match that success."

While Cyber Monday is often thought of as a milestone day for online sales, FTI Consulting's report also touches on the growing influence of the month of January for retailers. Prompted by the spillover of spending from holiday gift card redemption, January remains the strongest month for online shopping relative to total monthly retail sales. This trend has strengthened in recent years.

The 2014 Holiday Retail Forecast considers GAFO retail sales and non-store sales for November 2014 through January 2015, and projects a 3.5 percent increase in nominal holiday sales this season. The forecast was compiled by experts in FTI Consulting's Retail & Consumer Products practice who have deep expertise in corporate finance, strategic, operational improvement, liquidity management and turnaround and restructuring services. The full forecast can be accessed here.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,200 employees located in 26 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The Company generated $1.65 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2013. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook and LinkedIn.

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SOURCE FTI Consulting, Inc.

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