The holidays can account for as much as 30% of retailers' total sales. To say this is an important time of year would be an understatement. In 2016 the National Retail Federation predicted US holiday sales (that is, in November and December) would be up 3.6% to $655.8 billion. Bain & Company largely agreed with this number, placing its own prediction between 3.5% and 3.9%. These numbers were somewhat encouraging. Selling in an "up economy" is certainly easier, but 2016 wasn't in a post-recession boom like 2014. Success still depended on brands being able to execute their strategy.