Retail: 59
Retail: 180
Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33

Holiday Hurdles: Fewer Shopping Days, Earlier Buying

With the Back-To-School shopping season in full swing in parts of the U.S., retailers have already begun to turn their collective attentions to the upcoming holiday season when there will be six fewer shopping days (26 vs. 32 in 2018) and likely earlier purchasing by consumers. The latter will force retailers to have their marketing strategies in place and operating smoothly by Halloween.

Chicago-based comScore hosted a “State of Retail” webinar last week that cited key consumer ecommerce trends and challenges for retailers ahead of Q4. The latter includes the rising influence of “free shipping” on consumers making an online purchase and the need to convince nearly half of consumers that voice technology is a viable, safe and secure means of making a purchase. ComScore findings, as cited by Ryan Williams, the company’s head of Client Insights for retail, travel and CPG, suggest 49 percent of shoppers don’t have a reason to use voice technology when shopping; 21 percent don’t want others to hear what they are asking; and 16 percent are concerned about security.

In February, 45 percent of consumers rated the U.S. economy as excellent or good and 14 percent (up from 10 percent in Oct. 2018) rated it as poor. Regardless, the rise in mobile shopping is undeniable. According to comScore, Q1 retail digital commerce sales hit $138 billion with mobile purchases rising 29 percent year-over-year to $38.9 billion as desktop buying increased 10 percent to $99.0 billion.

In other retail developments:

  • June retail sales rose 2.3 percent year-over-year, but adjusted, y-o-y sales for the sporting goods/hobby/musical instrument/book store segment slipped 3.3 percent to $6.5 billion. On an unadjusted basis, segment sales were down 6.7 percent in H1 to nearly $35.4 billion. The National Retail Federation, which said the “consumer remains engaged,” reported a 5.3 percent decline in sporting goods store sales.
  • Amazon Prime Day (July 15-16) sales are projected to total $5.8 billion, according to Coresight Research, as consumers bought more than 175 million items during the two-day event. Amazon said its shoppers bought more than $2 billion worth of products from small- and medium-size businesses.
  • Hibbett Sports expands its board to 10, adding two female directors. Lorna Nagler, the former president of Bealls Dept. Stores, and Dorlisa Flur, the former EVP of omnichannel for Belk, Inc. and a former McKinsey executive, are the new HIBB directors.
  • J.C. Penney shares took a hit Friday following reports the department store chain is exploring methods to restructure its $3.83 billion debt.
  • Decathlon is opening its second Bay Area store in November, a nearly 39,000-sq.-ft. door in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood.
  • Fleet Feet has become the official retail and sporting goods partner of Sole-Mates, a Girls on the Run program focused on empowering adults to fitness and running-related goals. Over the last decade, SoleMate has helped raise over $8 million for Girls on the Run councils.