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.”
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)