Major retailers such as Best Buy, Lowe's, and Kohl's have reported a decline in sales and anticipate lower holiday sales compared to previous years. Best Buy's CEO attributes the unpredictable consumer demand to the focus on finding deals. While holiday sales are expected to grow, the rate of growth will be slower this year. Moody's Investors Service predicts a 1% to 3% growth in holiday sales due to consumers losing spending power, inflation, higher interest rates, and student loan repayments. Shoppers are becoming more cautious and reducing their holiday budgets, prioritizing essential purchases over discretionary items like TVs and furniture. Retailers that offer value and non-discretionary essentials are expected to outperform the broader retail industry. The Covid-19 pandemic has led retailers to start Black Friday deals earlier, and there has been an increase in losses from shoplifting. However, there are indications that these issues may be improving, as seen with Dick's Sporting Goods' profit rebounding after facing a serious theft problem.
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