Retail is a great place to be joyful if you are in it. It is indeed very jolly.
Economists predict that the total retail sales will surpass $1.1 trillion in this holiday season. This is a nearly 5-percent increase over 2018. This is a continuation of an upward trend year-over-year.
It seems that e-commerce is replacing brick-and-mortar retail during peak holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s much more complicated than that. An in-depth analysis of the amount local retailers make over the year shows three ways local brick-and mortar retailers can still reap the benefits this holiday season.
Bolt Onto Black Friday
Black Friday is now the center of American consumer culture. Some shoppers run to doors and sometimes skulls to get fire-sale products from big-box stores, while others browse Amazon.com deals on smartphones before Thanksgiving dinner gets cold.
This massive holiday is not exclusive to local retailers. An analysis of 52,000 independent retailers’ sales shows that Black Friday was the No. 1 day for sales. Local shops had 5 sales days last year.
One in four local shops was closed on Black Friday last Year, probably because they had to concede the day to Amazons and Best Buys around the globe. This is clearly a mistake. Data shows that Black Friday shopping frenzy extends to small businesses. Your hours should be extended, you can run your own promotions and you should let your customers know that you are open for business.
Stick with Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday isn’t as important as Black Friday. However, it has seen some growth since American Express introduced it in 2010. The day following Black Friday was ranked 81st in terms of local retail sales with revenues increasing 19 percent.
Small businesses have a day and millions of marketing dollars dedicated to them. This is powerful. According to Gallup two-thirds of Americans trust small businesses while only 23 percent support big businesses. Small Business Saturday gives people the chance to vote with what they have in their pockets.
Your Small Business Saturday marketing should be focused on idealistic shoppers who care as much about their community as they do about finding a deal. Shoppers will appreciate the “shop local” message in a season filled with advertisements from anonymous corporations.
Help last-minute shoppers
Amazon can’t do it all logistically, but e-commerce has a limit on how quickly it can accommodate last-minute shoppers. Shipping time increases in crunch times and two-day shipping will not save you Christmas Eve.
Local businesses stand to gain as Christmas approaches and procrastinators feel more anxious. This is supported by the data. The Friday and Saturday prior to Christmas were the top-ranked days last year. The No. 1 and No. 2 sales days for local shops respectively were last year’s No. There are 2 sales days in the year for local shops.
This advantage should be highlighted by Main Street stores everywhere. Make sure shoppers know that you are open until the very end and don’t have to suffer from any high-stakes hiccups such as shipments being stalled by snow. You might consider extending your hours in the last week of Christmas. This was the most profitable time for small retailers last year.
While the world has gone digital, brick-and-mortar still offers many opportunities. You can have the greenest holiday season by adjusting your holiday plan.
NRF: Retail Sales Increase 0.2% in October
The National Retail Federation (NRF), Friday, reported that retail sales increased by 0.2 percent seasonally over September. They were also up 4.2 percent year-over-year. These numbers do not include automobile dealers, gas stations, and restaurants. The October results account for the majority of the September’s 0.3 percent decrease in month-overmonth sales and add to September’s 4.1 percent year-overyear growth. The three-month moving mean was up 4.3 per cent compared to September’s 4.7 percent. The data of the U.S. Census Bureau is used to calculate NRF’s numbers.
Total Retail’s View: The retail industry remains cautiously optimistic after a period in which sales declined. There were gains across all categories, including online and grocery stores. However, there were also declines in some categories like clothing, furniture, and food services.
Here are some examples of key retail sectors that were active in October:
- Online and other non-store sales increased 14.6 percent year over year and 0.9 percent month over month seasonally adjusted.
- Groceries and beverage stores saw an increase of 4 percent year-over–year, and a seasonal adjustment of 0.5 percent monthly-over–month.
- The year-over-2018 decline in electronics and appliance stores was 3 percent, while the seasonally adjusted decrease of 0.4 percent per month was 0.4 percent.
- Clothing and accessories stores saw a 1.7 percent drop year-over–year, and a 1% decrease month-over–month.
The NRF is generally pleased with the results, and optimistic about a successful holiday season.
In a press release, Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at NRF, stated that “despite the slowdown in U.S. economic growth, consumers are in good shape and October’s sales are a step ahead into the all-important Holiday season.” Consumer sentiment has been affected by uncertainty around trade policy recently. However, ongoing job growth, low interest rate, low inflation, and record-breaking stock market levels provide support for consumer spending.