Aah the pressures of the winter holiday retail season! So much business is done at this time of year. Stores eagerly prepare for the season. They plan their buys carefully, develop their promotions, and strategize ways to bring customers into the stores. As manufacturers we hope that our product will be the first off the shelves. We study the calendar to see if we have one more weekend of selling this year or one less. Of course we read the weather report because quite frankly if it isn’t cold enough coats, gloves, boots, and sweaters don’t sell as well. Lot’s of effort for a pretty short selling season – Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. It’s no wonder retailers try to start the season earlier. I even saw Christmas decorations in some stores in AUGUST!!
I keep thinking we should move Christmas back a few weeks. Maybe celebrate it in January as the Russian Orthodox do. But, alas that isn’t happening.
On October 8th, 2015, The National Retail Federation announced it expects sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase a solid 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion — significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent. Holiday sales in 2015 are expected to represent approximately 19 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. Additionally, NRF is forecasting online sales to increase between 6 and 8 percent to as much as $105 billion.
One can only hope that much of the increase is spent on fashion and not just toys, smart phones, or laptops. The problem we face is there are much more things to buy for gift giving besides new clothes or accessories. When I was a wee girl there were no fancy electronics to buy. Today there is more competition out their for the consumer dollars. As fashion people we need to bring innovation to what we do to create the same buzz a new version of the Apple phone does. Then maybe our slice of the pie will be bigger.