Retailers can’t say goodbye to summer fast enough as they push forward into the holiday sales season. And while there’s still months until Christmas, retailers are anxiously facing a holiday shopping season hobbled by a struggling economy, a gyrating stock market and diminished consumer confidence.
But retailers can start playing Christmas carols and hang the red and green decorations — it won’t make a difference, according to one Avanade retail expert.
“Retailers are making a crucial mistake and it’s been a problem for 20 years,” he said. “They’ve educated consumers to know that in December, two weeks before Christmas, they slash prices so low. Why would you pay full price or even 20 or 25 percent off when you know that 10 days before Christmas you’re going to get 75 percent off?”
This is compounded by the fact that people just did their back-to-school shopping.
“Do they have the discretionary income now with the price of gas going up, with the price of groceries going up, to do their Christmas shopping in September? It’s not going to happen,” he said.
Still, retailers are hopeful after seeing better sales in August than expected. A quick read of the September issue of a lifestyle magazine finds ads from a dozen retailers.
This, coupled with the first television campaign for a retailer of apparel for older women, and a multi-million dollar campaign for a casual wear clothier, speaks to retailers’ aggressive pursuit of shoppers this holiday season.
Source: New York Times, September 2011