The growth rate for retail sales this holiday season is forecast to be less robust than in recent years, according to projections released Tuesday by the consulting firm Deloitte.
But just how muted that growth is going to be will hinge on how much splurging high-income consumers do, and how much belt-tightening takes place throughout lower-income households.
Some economists are now calling for a K-shaped recovery — a scenario where certain types of industries see gains, while others are left out. Unlike so-called U- or W-shaped recoveries, growth in a K-shaped rebound is unevenly split between income groups, creating a scenario with “haves” and “have-nots.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic has begun, some industries are still chugging along where workers can be productive at home. Others, however, have seen sales dry up, as consumers avoid eating out, going to the movies, and taking vacations.
“This year, one of two holiday scenarios will play out,” said Rod Sides, a vice…