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.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@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