The calendar — often cited as an excuse for disappointing retail sales — could be the source of a healthy holiday windfall next month.
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, positioning Dec. 26 on a Monday for the first time since 2005 and for the last time until 2016. ShopperTrak, the Chicago-based firm that measures and projects mall and store foot traffic, estimates that, with schools out and most companies giving employees Monday off, retail traffic could swell as much as 60 percent above levels from the same day last year. If not for the strained state of the U.S. economy, the traffic increase could have been expected to be as high as 67 percent, the company noted.
“Dec. 26 is a very important shopping day as shoppers return unwanted gift items and shop for marked-down merchandise,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. “If retailers depend on last year’s shopper turnout and behavior as a guide for staffing and inventory plans, they will lose out on business this year. Dec. 26 is going to be a doorbuster day.”
Christopher Ainsley, president and chief executive officer of the company, said the timing of the holiday aftermath could propel Dec. 26 to be the third biggest shopping day of the year, behind only Black Friday, Nov. 25, and Super Saturday, which will occur on Dec. 17. “Last year, Dec. 26 fell on a Sunday and was the fifth most important shopping day of the year,” he said. “It tends to be a high-traffic day, but this year a number of positive factors are coming together. There are fewer distractions and restrictions — people aren’t going to church or inhibited by early hours or even blue laws like they could be on a Sunday.”
Last year, retail sales for general merchandise, apparel, accessories, furniture and other categories on Dec. 26 reached $5.69 billion, according to the Commerce Department, while total U.S. shopper traffic for the day topped 189.8 million, according to ShopperTrak data. Shopper traffic is the sum of all stores visits by individual consumers, so a consumer visiting three stores would add three to the total.
Not surprisingly, Ainsley noted, Dec. 26 generates the least amount of traffic when it falls during the middle of the week. Next year, a leap year, it’s pushed to a Wednesday.
He said the calendar scenario also should accelerate the rate of gift card redemptions, but he emphasized that there’s no guarantee that more shoppers automatically will translate into more sales. “Sometimes conversion goes down when traffic moves up,” he said. “If stocks are lean, help is in short supply and there are long waits for service, shoppers get impatient and head back to the car.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)