For a winning holiday, retailers must pull off a strong Black Friday and offer big, storewide discounts throughout the season, according to a consumer survey conducted by America’s Research Group and the Inmar technology firm.
ARG and Inmar said retailers can expect sales to be up 2.5 percent or higher if shoppers see big discounts early. The study also found that the number of Americans feeling heavily pressured from debt is down, to 16.5 percent in 2013 from 21.4 percent in 2012.
On the negative side, higher food and gas prices will cut into how much consumers spend on holiday gifts, and Amazon.com could see fewer shoppers.
The ARG-Inmar research consisted of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted from Nov. 1 to 4.
Additional surveys will be conducted weekly during the holiday season. “If retailers give consumers megadiscounts throughout the season, it will be a very strong season, but if they try to play the game by luring shoppers with limited sale offers, there will be a lot of serious shopper rebellion,” said Britt Beemer, chairman and ceo of America’s Research Group.
“Higher food prices are a reality right now,” said John Ross, executive vice president, Inmar. “Consumers today are now using digital technology along with paper coupons to save money as they are shopping in the store.”
Ross said the growth in digital couponing has been dramatic. Among the survey’s other findings:
• Of those spending less this Christmas season, 30.4 percent said it was due to higher gas and food prices this year versus 19.6 percent in 2012.
• The number of shoppers doing the majority of their gift shopping before Black Friday has risen to 9.6 percent this year from 2.2 percent in 2012.
• More consumers are seeking cheaper gifts, with 19.1 percent of those surveyed focused on gifts priced $21 to $25, versus 17.2 percent last year.
• Homemade gifts are losing some appeal. Of those surveyed, 21.2 percent will give homemade gifts compared with 27.5 percent in 2012.
• Gift card buying continues to rise, with 59 percent of those surveyed planning to buy them versus 56.9 percent in 2012.
• Fewer shoppers are buying for themselves: 33.1 percent in 2013 versus 39.7 percent in 2012. n Apparel gifts are on the rise, with 32.5 percent of the consumers surveyed seeking them this holiday season, versus 25.1 percent in 2012.
• For apparel gifts, 9.4 percent of the consumers surveyed plan to shop J.C. Penney, versus 10.9 percent in 2012. Sears will drop to 6.4 percent this year, from 9 percent last year.
• Spending at Amazon could fall, with 13.3 percent of those surveyed planning to shop the site this year, versus 18.4 percent in 2012.
• Overall discount store shopping for apparel will be up, to 30.7 percent this year from 25.4 percent a year ago.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast