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Weeks ahead will test retailers’ lofty expectations


The Willow Grove Park Mall is Willow Grove in Pennsylvania. Shoppers climb and descend the escalator. November 14, 2020.

Mark Makela | Reuters

It is beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. This year, it might not.

Retailers hope that consumers will continue to spend with only 24 days before the holiday. The Thanksgiving weekend shopping events from Black Friday through Cyber Monday were a disappointment for shoppers who had started to buy holiday gifts earlier this year.

Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig said that while analysts believe retail sales will exceed lofty levels, there’s still a shortage of holiday buzz.

“People are usually like, “How is your holiday shopping going?” She asked, “What are you buying for so-and-so ?,'”?” “I feel like some of that we don’t have this year — and I’m not sure why it is.” 

According to her, this could be because consumers are distracted by family reunions or larger parties and disenchanted with high prices. Or they may just feel more cautious about shopping and try to plan ahead in order to avoid shipping delays and out-of stock items.

She believes that retail will have a strong performance. However, it will be fascinating to observe how much comes from inflation and merchandise bought at the full price.

You can use the half-time instead of the kickoff.

This list includes retailers Amazon, Walmart TargetConsumers blasted Black Friday-style holiday promotions and Black Friday deals as far back as October. This holiday season, consumers had many other motivations to shop early for gifts. Many people were not motivated by the prospect of finding the perfect gift or getting a deep discount. They were more concerned about not being able to find anything worthwhile due to supply chain problems. For many months shoppers have been hearing about closed factories, congestion in ports, and the shortage of truck drivers.

The wave of early-shopping may have taken the thunder out of major shopping holidays like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The National Retail Federation reports that Thanksgiving weekend was a time when both the average amount of spending and the total number of shoppers fell. This includes Thursday through Cyber Monday. Nearly 180 million Americans shopped during the five-day holiday weekend compared with about 186 million shoppers in 2020 and about 190 million in 2019, the trade group said.

Average spending fell, too, with Thanksgiving weekend shoppers forking over an average of $301.27 on holiday-related purchases versus $311.75 in 2020 and $361.90 in 2019, NRF said.

Consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday,According to Adobe Analytics data, this represents a 1.4% decline from the year before. Adobe Analytics released Tuesday data that showed this is the first time Adobe has recorded a decrease in major shopping day spending since 2012 when it began reporting on ecommerce transactions. This is despite the fact that it occurs after last Christmas when holiday spending was at its lowest. shopping holiday grew by 15.1% versus 2019.

The price point of shopping carts rose by nearly 14% on Cyber Monday — and 19% for the holiday season overall — as some shoppers bought big-ticket items like furniture and others felt the pang of inflation, Adobe said.

Matt Shay, CEO of NRF, stated that early shopping has changed the status of peak sales days. To avoid crowds, consumers started shopping for gifts and decor in October last year. Supply chain issues pushed this timetable up once more in 2018.

He stated that Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend are particularly closer to halftime right now than the kickoff.

Shay said NRF stands by its forecast for a record holiday season.For a total sales figure of $859 billion, the trade group projects that November and December’s spending will grow between 8.5% to 10.5%.

NRF reported that holiday retail sales increased by an average 4.4% over five years. NRF reported that they reached an all-time record of $777.3 trillion last year. This represented an 8.2% jump year over year.

Steve Sadove is the former Chairman and CEO at Saks, and currently a senior advisor to Mastercard. He said that he anticipates strong retail season. He points out that consumers with greater savings are more likely to be in demand.

Mastercard SpendingPulse projects that U.S. retail sales will rise 7.4% between Nov. 1, and Dec. 24, compared to the year before. The forecaster sees increased sales of 11.1% over 2019.

Sadove also reiterated this expectation, even though he was gone. some data showed Black Friday and Cyber Monday demandThe past two previous years have seen tapering. Mastercard is particularly pleased with the growth in luxury, apparel and jewelry, as compared to 2020 and 2019.

He said, “Clearly it has been a long season.” “Retailers launched their promotions before the deadline. Black Friday didn’t just happen on that date.

New variants and rare deals

Dec. lull

Craig Johnson, the founder of CGP, a consumer research company, stated that a wave of early-season shopping may increase the chance of a December slump.

Retail industry’s December lull refers to the few weeks following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the days before Christmas Eve. This is when shoppers may be feeling shopped-out and choose to pause spending.

Johnson claimed that Johnson has been tracking the lull more than 10 years. Johnson said retailers who promote earlier than usual can increase sales, but without increasing demand.

He stated, “People either are de-energized and/or they’re taking some time to breathe.”

The company estimated that Black Friday sales in the United States totaled $34.9 billion. This is an increase of 18% over last year and a 12% improvement on 2019. The company is expecting holiday sales to increase 6.7% over the previous year, which includes November and December.

He said two wildcards — the omicron variant and the rise of smash-and-grab crimes — could spook customers from returning to stores. These are some of the recent developments. Best Buy, NordstromLouis Vuitton, as well as Louis Vuitton were all targets of organized retail criminality.

Johnson stated, “That places a damper upon everything.” Johnson said that there could be an exacerbated December lull, if the activity continues to rise.

Shay from NRF said that there are still plenty of gift options for shoppers. A survey conducted in November among nearly 6 000 consumers found that 84% said they’d already begun holiday shopping. On average, they said they have completed about 52% of their holiday purchases, the survey found — meaning they have a little under half of their purchases still to make.

Retailers are looking for ways to attract attention and maintain momentum by offering extended discounts and shoppable events.

Cyber Monday: Rent the RunwayAn email was sent out to potential customers, stating that its special one-day sales had been extended. The marketing email from Rebecca Minkoff, fashion retailer, read “Surprise!” Cyber Tuesday! It’s Cyber Tuesday!

Target will launch a limited time collection featuring nearly 300 Lego-themed products in December. The collection will feature colorful clothes, accessories for pets, and home goods. Big-box retailers have a history of short-term partnership with brands such as Hunter, Lilly Pulitzer, and others to generate foot traffic as well as web traffic.

Walmart is the next to have it. more than 30 livestreaming events over the holidaysYou can also suggest items that you might want to add on to your gift list.

Delayed shipment: A blessing, or curse?

Johnson stated that delayed shipments can be a good thing for retailers if they get inventory within the next week. This could allow them to refresh store displays or fill empty shelves.

He stated that “there may be a silver-lining which alleviates some early December lull concerns.” But I believe the risk remains greater to the downside than it is to the upside.

Retailers could lure some people back to spend more money if they clearly communicate about new inventory or new deals, said Adam Pressman, a partner at retail consulting firm AlixPartners. He said that not everyone has the ability to increase their budgets. However, some people do.

He said that customers who bought in October, rather than the November end, might still be open to buying additional items or purchasing other products.

Sadove, Mastercard’s chief executive officer, said that the most difficult times could be after the holidays. If inventory is not in season and is delayed, retailers may end up with an overstock of merchandise. It would lead to a rise in markdowns.

He stated that “the supply chain could cause a major disruption.” Let’s suppose you are a retailer who has Christmas trim in February.

Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.