Christmas in May? It’s never to early for retailers to worry about the holiday season.
This year, there will be six fewer selling days in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some retail experts see this as a significant disadvantage, while others point out that last year’s performance, with 32 days in the period versus this year’s 26, wasn’t a stellar performance despite all the shopping opportunities.
“The more selling days you have between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the better off you are,” said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at Kurt Salmon. “Pre-Christmas selling has always been more valuable than post-holiday selling.” Aronson said more selling could shift to the days between Christmas and New Year’s. “After Christmas, there’s more gift-card redemption, but the net-net is that it’s still better to have more shopping days before Christmas.”
Judging by J.C. Penney’s promotional activity over the Memorial Day weekend, it seems clear that the beleaguered retailer is determined to fight for every incremental sale, which means it could likely be even more promotional at Christmas. “Penney’s major selling proposition was value,” Aronson said. “They’re pushing their traditional strength, which is highly value-oriented.” Retailers such as Macy’s, Kohl’s and Stage Stores, which share markets with Penney’s, may be impacted. “The hurt will be spread around the board,” he said. “Each one of those retailers will know what Penney’s is doing, and their reactions will be geared toward making sure they don’t lose whatever they gained [from Penney’s].”
Harry Ikenson, a retail analyst and consultant at Ikenson Research & Consulting, pointed out that when there are more days, there can be a lull in December, when consumers get shopping fatigue. He said there should be less of a lull this year as the shopping period is compressed.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion