November 23, 2016
After a very soft start to the season, 80% of you are now reporting that sales last week were up to LY, from single to double digits. Adobe Digital Insights reported that retailers lost nearly $1 billion worth of online sales in the first 14 days of November, with the biggest drop happening the day after the election, when sales growth trickled to 1.3% compared to the expected 7.8% surge. This post-election plunge Adobe reported was the slowest growth for U.S. retail sales since 2012. In a recent survey, the NRF reported that over 40% of consumers have yet to start their holiday shopping. As we approach our peak season, here are a few highlights to note:
· Mobile devices will surpass desktops in digital shopping visits this holiday season, vaulting ahead by a margin of 53% to 47%, according to Adobe’s 2016 Digital Insights Shopping Predictions report.
· Americans plan to spend $426 on gifts during the 2016 holiday shopping season, down from $487 a year ago, and there will be little difference in the number and types of gifts on shopping lists this time around, according to Deloitte’s 31st annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.
· Clothing and accessories remain the most popular gifts this year, given by 61 percent of shoppers; 56 percent will give gift cards. Nearly half of shoppers, 44 percent, will give books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games; 42 percent will give toys, 31 percent food or candy and 30 percent will give electronics. (NRF Holiday report)
· For physical stores, the top 5 busiest shopping days will be: “Super Saturday,” Dec. 17 (Saturday before Christmas), Black Friday, Nov. 25, Friday, Dec. 23, Saturday, Dec. 10, and Monday, Dec. 26. Here are the top least busy days, in terms of shoppers visiting stores: Tuesday, Nov. 29, Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, Wednesday, Nov. 30, Thursday, Dec. 1, and Monday, Dec. 5.
WalletHub reported that 1 in 10 retailers are recycling the same promotions from last year this year. Many retailers have been referencing Black Friday promotions for 3 weeks now, and as expected, Monday’s emails featured headlines like, “Black Friday STARTS NOW” and “Black Friday Doorbusters NOW.” We are hard pressed to find examples of retailers who are not promotional right now; our decoy tracking last year reported that over 90% of all catalogs had promotional offers. This includes premium brands far and wide. We continue to see hybrid offers like we saw last year. Apparel is north of 40% off already, and the home category is pushing into unchartered waters with 30% discounts as they try to make up for a soft year. Lastly, if you are not sending 9-14 emails per week, then you are an exception.
IN MY MAILBOX
Last week I had a record 116 pieces in my mailbox, compared to 75 last year. While this was in part due to mailers avoiding election week, we also saw a good amount of mail election week, as well. This growth is coming from online retailers launching into direct marketing and wholesale brands leveraging catalogs to help grow their direct to consumer business. By category, I received:
· Apparel – 38
· Gift – 24
· Misc – 24
· Home – 17
· Children’s – 13
Some of the new and/or interesting catalogs included a new catalog/magazine by Kid Made Modern, Society 6 (new catalog), Jeni’s Ice Cream in the food/gift space, Anthropologie (mailing more frequently to me than ever before), Coyuchi (new in my mailbox), and a lot of wine and food guides (which makes a lot of sense for those of you that know me well!).
Lastly, please be on the lookout for our Save the Date for our spring event in Napa on May 4th and 5th this year. We hope to see you all there!
As always, we hope this email finds you well and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Polly & Your Friends at Belardi/Ostroy