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.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
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Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye