Two reports last week affirmed sales are still growing online, despite the weak retail picture elsewhere.
U.S. online retail sales during the holiday period will reach $44 billion, Forrester predicted, a 12 percent increase over last year — but also “the slowest growth rate to date,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the best way to reach the ultrarich luxury consumer is online, according to a survey of 1,000 wealthy consumers funded by Google and conducted by Pam Danziger’s Unity Marketing in June.
“While consumers remain pessimistic about the health of the U.S. economy, online shopping drivers of convenience, selection and perceived value will continue to attract buyers to the Web this holiday season,” said the Forrester report. Slightly less than half of online consumers said they plan to spend less this holiday season, up from 20 percent the year before. In the apparel and accessories category, only 9 percent said they plan to spend more this year than last year, down 1 percent from the year earlier.
At the same time, there are upsides to e-commerce: 48 percent of online shoppers said they can find the best deals online, compared with 41 percent last year. And 36 percent of consumers said they would be more likely to shop online because of high gas prices, versus 22 percent last year. Three-quarters of respondents prefer to shop at retailers that offer free shipping, and 58 percent said shipping charges deter them from buying online.
Overall, Forrester predicts online retail will reach $200 billion this year, with much of that coming in the fourth quarter.
Many luxury shoppers prefer to buy online. “They’re wealthy but they don’t have a lot of time,” said John McAteer, Google industry director for retail. Forty-five percent of ultraaffluents, defined as those with household incomes over $250,000, said they prefer to shop online rather than in a store. Fifty-six percent of those whose yearly income exceeds $1 million said they prefer online shopping. Only 7 percent of ultraaffluents and 5 percent of millionaires said they enjoy shopping online less than in the store. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they had shopped both online and in stores in the last six months.
The wealthy have a keen interest in designer clothing, with 79 percent saying they purchased designer clothing online in the past six months, and 50 percent saying they had bought it in the store. Similar numbers had purchased high-end accessories, jewelry, electronics and home furnishings online and in store, with 70 percent reporting they had bought fine jewelry or watches online in the past six months.
They said the Internet was the most helpful source to learn about luxury products and brands (82 percent), closely followed by word of mouth (78 percent) and magazines and in-store displays (68 percent). Slightly less than half cited personal shoppers.
It seems luxury shoppers would appreciate having more of their favorite brands available to buy online, since 64 percent said they “often get frustrated if I can’t find an item I saw in-store on the Internet.” Many (59 percent) said they often go home and purchase items online that they saw and liked in the store.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)