Holiday season sales will increase 4.2%, said chief marketing officers polled for the 10th annual BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs. This is about flat with last year's forecast of 4.1%. More than a quarter of the 100 respondents (28%) said energy and fuel costs would impact sales this year. Despite lower gas prices, CMOs are still conservative about their estimates, BDO said in a release. The study also found that 43% of CMOs expect gift card sales to grow; inventory levels are expected to grow 3.4%, up from 1.1% in 2014; and 67% of CMOs polled believe consumer electronics will be the top product category, though 51% think it will be the most discounted.
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