U.S. Christmas Sales Could Top $1-Trillion

A whole lot of chimneys in the U.S. could be rocking this Christmas, and cash registers ringing, with more-than-merry projections about how much money could change hands from shoppers to merchants.

Christmas holiday retail sales stateside are expected to climb above the $1 trillion mark for the first time this year, on the back of low unemployment, solid income growth and higher consumer confidence, according to a study released Tuesday.

Data from market research firm eMarketer showed total retail sales in the U.S. will hit $1.002 trillion during the holiday period — which it defines as spanning November 1 and December 31 this year — an increase of almost 6% from the previous year, marking the "strongest growth since 2011,

The report comes amid concerns over the future of brick-and-mortar retailers, with the likes of Sears and Toys 'R' Us facing bankruptcy — although the latter's lenders recently cancelled a bankruptcy auction and plans to revive the brand.

Not to mention the fact that several retailers are closing hundreds of stores across the country as the threat of increased competition from e-commerce firms like Amazon and eBay continues to put pressure on the industry. On Monday, home improvement chain Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) said it would shutter 51 underperforming stores across the U.S. and Canada.

The research said the sector would see a 4.4% gain year-on-year in in-store sales, rising to $878.38 billion, and that brick-and-mortar would be a "bright spot" for the retail industry as a whole for the 2018 Christmas holiday period.