Current seasonal sales forecasts, citing the ongoing influence of ecommerce and a strong U.S. economy, peg the two-month gain for the November-December timeframe at 4 to 5.6 percent. That increase would catapult total holiday sales above the $1.1 trillion mark. RetailMeNot says 60 percent of retailers are optimistic of outperforming their 2017 holiday sales but are keenly aware of the competitive landscape with 86 percent “feeling more pressure” to compete with Amazon during the season.
With Deloitte forecasting ecommerce sales to rise as much as 22 percent this holiday (vs. 16.6% in 2017) to as much as $134 billion, Retail TouchPoints says there will be more mobile visits to websites during Holiday 2018 than there were all ecommerce shoppers in 2015. Millennials will lead the mobile movement with 65 percent of them making purchases from a device versus 48 percent for Gen Xers and 30 percent for Baby Boomers, according to a RetailMeNot study conducted online in July. Cyber Week, the days immediately after Thanksgiving Weekend, is forecast to generate 40 percent of the season’s ecommerce sales with Black Friday (10%) and Cyber Monday (8%) the season’s biggest single days for online shopping.
Coresight Research, more conservative with its 4 percent seasonal sales growth forecast, points out that “2018 is shaping up to be a bumper year for U.S. retail with the sector growing very strongly, per the U.S. Census Bureau, and with even long-struggling legacy retailers turning in better-than-expected topline figures.”
Despite the increasing influence of ecommerce and mobile, traditional brick-and-mortar won’t be left out of the sales bonanza, which will be fueled by more early-season shopper purchases. With mobile “reducing friction in-store,” reports Retail TouchPoints, store-only experiences and promotions will drive brick-and-mortar traffic. With Thanksgiving falling on its earliest date of Nov. 22, the season between that holiday and Christmas will be its longest possible at 32 days.
More personalization and the rising influence of Instagram as a go-to online shopping channel are among holiday trends likely to emerge, according to experts. An estimated 35 percent of all digital revenue will be generated by recommendations/personalization, predicts Retail Touchpoints. Instagram is expected to increase 3x faster than social media traffic overall during the season, taking much of its gains from Facebook, Retail Touchpoints suggests. Retailers need to be aware that today’s shoppers expect seamless omnichannel purchasing, personalized and instant experiences and a good deal.
“The retailers who succeed this year will rely on data for smart discounting strategies and smart marketing to meet consumers where they are,” says Marissa Tarelton, RetailMeNot’s chief marketing officer.
The 120-year-old Canadian footwear and apparel brand Kamik wants more parents worldwide to examine their family’s daily routines and “rediscover an offline-no-agenda” creative balance with their kids through unstructured outside free play. Kamik is pushing this concept on social media channels via the #FreeYourPlay hashtag and unleashing an international marketing effort.
Through a survey of more than 2,000 mothers of children ages 3-12 in the U.S. and Canada and an earlier study that also included parents in Germany and Norway, the Genfoot-owned brand discovered today’s children live in a hectic, overscheduled environment with little, if any, time for unstructured play. U.S. children, who on average participate in five structured activities weekly, spend 35 percent less time playing outside than their parents did, according to the study that also discovered weather is a leading outdoor play deterrent in the U.S. and Canada.
The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, which boasts more than 100 brands and 100 retail doors, fired back at Walmart and its efforts to launch an online premium outdoor shop. In an open letter, GOA President Rich Hill called a recent Walmart “both cynical and inaccurate in its representation of the outdoor industry.
“While those employees correctly heard our industry’s collective dismissal of their recent experiment in the category,” wrote Hill, “they misunderstood the clear point—this isn’t about Walmart, it’s about us, and it’s about how the stability of long-term brand equity is more important to the outdoor industry than short-term profits.”
California last week failed to become the 12th state to establish an official office or task force dedicated to outdoor recreation. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have created the Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation in the Golden State, where the outdoor industry accounts for $92 billion in consumer spending and 691,000 jobs statewide. Brown believes California’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation aptly oversees the state’s outdoor economy. The Outdoor Industry Association, meanwhile, says it will seek opportunities to create an Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation in California after Brown’s term ends at year-end.
Outdoor recreation contributes more than $734 billion to the U.S. gross output, the total value of domestic goods and services produced by an industry. The finding comes as the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that outdoor recreation account for 2.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). More detailed information from the BEA is available at: http://oia.outdoorindustry.org/e/51282/cial-topics-outdoor-recreation/b3q13d/742429773
The former Badger Sportswear, which acquired Alleson Athletic and Garb Athletics in 2017, intends to purchase on-demand apparel maker Teamwork Athletic Apparel and gain a stronger foothold in the team apparel market. Teamwork, based in San Marcos, CA with a manufacturing facility in San Luis de Colorado, Mexico, pioneered the development of proprietary, patented technologies for designing, producing and delivering customized, sublimated garments with quick turnaround times. FSG’s latest acquisition also brings it new licensing agreements with over 600 organizations, including colleges, fraternities and sororities that will enable it to expand distribution in the college bookstore channel.
“Teamwork is a perfect strategic fit for us,” said John Anton, CEO of Founder Sport Group. “With Teamwork, we’re adding the industry leader in quick-turn custom sublimation and increasing our production capacity…and (we will) improve delivery times across all the brands within our portfolio.”
Beside Badger and Teamwork, privately held FSG, based in Statesville, NC, also owns Alleson Athletic and Garb Athletics. The company currently has four manufacturing and four distribution centers worldwide.
Spalding is introducing limited-edition basketballs through its new 94 Series and a number of collaborations. The company made its first-ever basketball in 1894. The first 94 series collection, introduced earlier this month, was a collaboration with luxury streetwear brand Just Don with 250 of the commemorative basketballs available at Spalding.com and JustDon.com for $225 retail. The 94 Series collection will continue into 2019 when the brand celebrates its 125th anniversary with additional collaborations.
OOFOS is rolling out limited-edition OOahh Sports OOriginal Sport sandals (MSRP $65) featuring bold 2018 marathon graphics for the NYC and Chicago Marathons. The styles are perfect for post-race recovery or as a great souvenir for those running in the races.
Jorge Salazar, a former director for global polyester and nylon yarn producer CS Central America, is the new general manager of Unifi Central America, Ltda. De CV. UCA, located in the Free Zone of El Salvador, began operations in 2010. Its offerings across the region include Repreve, recycled polyester and Unfi’s performance fibers, Tru-Technologies.
Columbia Sportswear has tapped 21-year company veteran Dean Rurak, currently VP of U.S. apparel sales, to SVP of North American sales for the Columbia brand, effective Oct. 2 He succeeds Joe Craig, who after 23 years representing the brand, will retire on Oct. 1.
Descente Athletic Americas, a new Atlanta-based unit of the Japanese company, is being headed by industry veteran Fritz Taylor. DAA will offer an expanded lifestyle apparel assortment targeting urban consumers with diverse interests. Before expanding to select boutiques and independent stores in targeted markets for Fall 2019, the collection will be available DTC on an ecommerce site this fall.
DSW appoints Ekta Singh-Bushell, COO at Federal Reserve of New York until 2017 and a former Ernst & Young executive, as an independent director. She will stand for election to the DSW board for a three-year term next year.
The inaugural Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference will take place January 23-25, 2019 and be co-located with the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL as a standalone event. The show, co-organized by the Tennis Industry Association and Reed Exhibitions, will feature a curated ONE2ONE buying summit, Tennis Owners & Managers Conference and an exhibit of racquet, paddle and tennis vendors and organizations at the Orange County Convention Center. ONE2ONE on Jan. 23, matching buyers with emerging, new and existing tennis, racquet and paddle industry vendors, will be followed by a product demo experience and opening welcome party at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, FL. More information is available at: RacquetPaddleSportsShow.com.
Separately, more than 50 Indian leather factories will be represented at The Accessories Council’s India Factory & Sourcing Expo, in cooperation with India’s Council of Leather Exports, on Nov. 13-14 in New York City. The two-day event, the first of its kind in the U.S. in many years, will connect skilled Indian leather factories with sourcing leaders from top brands looking for supply chain diversification. Interested parties are advised to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 947-1135 to schedule an appointment.
Farfetch, the luxury fashion platform that promises 90-minute delivery in New York and Los Angeles and same-day in nine markets, raises $885 million in a Sept. 20 IPO. The website sells products from 700+ boutiques and brands, including Adidas, Nike, Gucci, Y-3 and Valentine in men’s sneakers and Prada, Tod’s, Lanvin and Golden Goose Deluxe Brand in women’s sneakers. Brands in its women’s activewear offering include PE Nation, Adidas, Nimble, Nike, Rossignol, Moncler and Fendi.
MetaVRse, a Toronto virtual, augmented and mixed reality (XR) consulting group, is acquiring augmented reality (AR) start-up KP9 Interactive. The transaction is part of a strategy to consolidate top talent in the XR space with a focus on virtual commerce for retail and ecommerce. Wil Reynolds, CEO of KP9, will become CTO for MetaVRse.
NFL Experience in Times Square is closing for good on Sept. 30 after only 10 months in business. The 40,000-square-foot museum and experience was a joint league initiative with Cirque de Soleil.
StockX, the two-year old platform for buying and selling consumer goods, raises $44 million in a Series B funding round. Capital proceeds will be earmarked for international expansion and increased worldwide access to the marketplace that trades in sneakers, streetwear, watches and handbags. The Detroit company, which has a staff of 400 currently, averages more than $2 million in daily transaction value.
Xero Shoes, which manufacturers casual sandals and shoes, has completed a $2.318 million debt transaction with JPMorgan/Chase. The Colorado company intends to use the debt capital to expand its product range, increase marketing and refinance existing debt. Co-founded by Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix, Xero generated sales of $5.53 million in 2017, according to Inc.