Good profits and growing concern – WWD
There is some second conjecture going on regarding holiday in 2021.
The forecasts are upbeat from a 7 to 11 percent increase in retail sales, but the mood over the past few days has dimmed due to a range of concerns, including last week’s West Coast store robberies; increasing and new COVID-19 cases Omicron coronavirus variant, and another round of travel restrictions that reduce tourism. Inflation and reports of sporadic inventory may also limit buying activity.
“I don’t think people should accept forecasts because of how people actually shop. Things are changing,” said veteran retail analyst Walter Loeb.
As far as his holiday sales growth outlook goes, “I’m at 6 to 7%, nothing more,” says Loeb. Loeb said outbreaks of COVID-19 and the discovery of the widespread Omicron variant could spur people to buy more over the internet. In general, he thinks shoppers should be able to buy what they want or something like that. “There are a lot of goods. There may not be a blue tie available, but you can get one in green or red. ”
That’s worrying news about whether this year’s Cyber Monday will be bigger than last year’s. Consumers are expected to spend between $10.2 billion and $11.3 billion, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, similar to the $10.8 billion Americans spent on Cyber Monday. 2020.
Cyber Monday will still be the biggest online shopping day of the year, but not the record-breaking blockbuster of previous years. Consumers spent earlier in the season in response to promotions and offers from retailers starting in October, and people have returned to shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.
On Monday, there’s a new round of Thanksgiving weekend results.
Mastercard SpendPulse indicates that US retail sales over Thanksgiving weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) grew 14.1% year-over-year and 5.8% year-over-year, respectively. does not include auto sales. According to Mastercard, in-store sales rebounded, up 16.5% year-on-year. During the same period, e-commerce sales grew 4.9% year-over-year.
According to Mastercard’s report, the biggest increase in retail sales at the end of last week was clothing, up 51.2%; department stores, up 19% and jewelry, up 78.4%. Mastercard SpendPulse measures overall retail sales across all forms of payment, including cash and checks.
“Consumers continue to be really healthy, that is in the premium and budget segments,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor at Mastercard and former chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc.. Find creative ways to deliver what is sure to be the biggest holiday shopping season ever. Clothing stores and department stores, both recovering categories, are on the rise. Part of it is inflation, but bottom line, it says we’re in for a very good holiday season.”
“What does the rest of the holiday season mean? Suddenly, you have this variation,” Sadove continued. “Should that cause concern? In the past, in places with hotspots, people moved their shopping behavior to where they felt safe. They were more online. They buy more online, at the store or at the curb. Overall retail [didn’t] changed so much. If there’s been any change in behavior over the past year and a half, it’s likely been the shift between online versus in-store. “
If the new variant spreads, Sadove said, “I don’t think it will affect the holiday season, and if it does, it will be minimal. Of course I’m worried about this variation, but since it’s related to this holiday season, I don’t think it will affect the final month of the season.
“Smashing incidents affect certain retailers and their bottom lines, but it won’t stop people from going out and shopping,” Sadove said. “It was horrible, and in some cases forced closures and limited hours of work, but it’s worth noting. Obviously, it was something very involved on a localization basis that we had to deal with. We have to make people feel safe when they shop.”
At Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, “Friday was a great day, Saturday started off slow but earned and was great. It’s been pretty strong, said Stephen Yalof, CEO. “We hit double digits in 2020, in terms of traffic, and are close to returning to 2019 traffic levels.”
“Anecdotally, accessories, sneakers, Nike, Ugg and Under Armor are strong,” he said. “There are fences outside the door but part of that is crowd control. The weather also cooperates.”
Turnout, he said, on Black Friday weekend “booms well for the rest of the holiday season. The client wants to get out. The trends we saw over Thanksgiving weekend will sustain. “
When asked if he was concerned that the increase in COVID-19 cases and the new Omicron variant could deter shoppers from going to Tanger stores, Yalof replied: “We haven’t seen that – The operation of outdoor centers continues to benefit us. But it would be silly to think that people don’t talk much about these things.”
President Biden allayed some concerns when, during a news conference on Monday, he said: “If everyone gets vaccinated and wears masks, there’s no need to lock the doors.” The president also said there would be no new travel restrictions other than blocking flights from African countries after the discovery of the Omicron variant.
Retailers are also watching to see how much of a lull in business occurs starting this week. Each year, right after Cyber Monday, shopping slows down until about 10 days before Christmas. “I don’t know that we’re predicting a material lull that’s different from any other holiday shopping season,” Yalof said.
At the multi-use Brickell City Center in downtown Miami, “We monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation,” said Michael Sneed, retail marketing manager. “Fortunately, our development is a mix of indoor and outdoor,” offering an outdoor shopping space with some overhead coverage.
He said recent robberies were not an immediate concern and had not occurred in Brickell, and that COVID-19 did not appear to have changed consumer sentiment, at least not yet. “I think people want to go out and enjoy their friends and family. People will go out where they can fit in and can be safe.”
Key retail tenants at Brickell include Saks Fifth Avenue, Intimissimi, Zara, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret, among others.
According to Salesforce, US shoppers are expected to spend $11 billion online during Cyber Monday. Globally, consumers are expected to spend $43 billion.
Salesforce analyzed global shopping data from more than a billion consumers on Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud, including 24 of the top 30 US online retailers. Among its main findings:
• Cyber Week deals disappointed holiday shoppers: Average selling price increased 13% in the US and 6% globally compared to last year. The average Cyber Week discount was 26% in the US (down 9% y/y) and 23% globally (down 8%).
• Buyers accept to buy now, pay later. Globally, BNPL usage via Cyber Week has grown by 37%, with over US$16 billion in sponsored holiday orders.
• With supply chain issues, holiday inventories continue to be low: Cyber Week product categories are down 6% in the US and 6% globally from last year.
• Popular holiday categories so far this Cyber Week include: luxury handbags, up 47 percent; furniture, up 40 percent; footwear, up 27%.
Placer.ai, which tracks store traffic, reported several Black Friday winners, showing visits at Ulta up 42.2% year over year and 10.3% year over year. ; Sephora grew by 97.5% year-on-year and 20.5% year-over-year; TJ Maxx has grown 33.6% y/y and 2.9% y/y; Rose rose 36.6% and 3.6%, and Walmart increased 29.1% and 2.8%.
According to Placer.ai, at the bottom in terms of visits, are Dick’s, Nordstrom Rack, Dillard’s and Kohl’s.
https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/black-friday-2021-covid-1235004903/ Good profits and growing concern – WWD