Holiday sale

Retailers Make First Holiday Sales Plans – Journal

The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the way American consumers shop and the holidays will be no exception as major retailers and shippers roll out their first-ever shopping season.

Target, Best Buy, and Kohl’s have moved winter break promotions to October. They have also joined their rival Walmart in announcing store closures on Thanksgiving and plan to bypass Black Friday midnight door-to-door sales that traditionally mark the start of the holiday season but are inconsistent with social distancing recommendations from the pandemic.

Kohl’s chief executive, Michelle Gass, said last week that “a holiday season like no other” means a focus on comfy clothing, home essentials and children’s toys, all of them. categories that have worked well as buyers largely choose to stay at home.

U.S. Postal Service traffic jams tax U.S. shipping network, bracing for increased vacation volume

Target CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer will focus on same-day delivery and add thousands of items available through these services, including more gifts and essentials during “shopping season.” very different holidays “. Same day delivery takes the strain off delivery companies like United Parcel Service and FedEx because it is performed by “gig” drivers for companies like Shipt, DoorDash and Postmates.

A supplier to a big box retailer said Reuters that the chain is bracing for a 30% drop in vacation spending this year, although the National Retail Federation (NRF) trade group has yet to release its vacation forecast.

“It will be interesting to see if the stores even have sales for Black Friday or are open on Black Friday,” said Randy Hare, portfolio manager at Huntington Private Bank, who says he’s “starting to think about how which we want to position ourselves in the holiday season. Some logistics companies are urging retail customers to step up promotions – for example, pushing big-screen TVs one week and holiday sweaters the following week – to ease the crush.

Ecommerce expected to hit a record 15% of all sales in the United States this year

“It can’t be a blitz of every product you have online. Choose and choose, ”said Scott Sureddin, CEO of DHL Supply Chain North America.

Ecommerce is expected to hit a record 15% of all sales in the United States this year, according to research firm eMarketer, and retailers are scouring their operations for opportunities to cut costs. They don’t get any breaks from delivery companies, which impose significant surcharges on vacation packages and pick-up activities by restricting shipments to certain customers.

Congestion at the U.S. Postal Service – which Rakuten Intelligence now handles nearly 40% of last mile home deliveries – is taxing the U.S. shipping network, which is bracing for an increase in vacation volume in addition to demand fueled by the pandemic that shippers have called “the second Christmas“. UPS’s average daily parcel volume reached 24.4 million in the second quarter, nearly 92% of what it was during the peak holiday season in the fourth quarter.

Demand is so high that the USPS has announced its very first holiday supplement – joining UPS and FedEx.

“We know that online shopping picks up during the holidays and the system is already in a hurry to meet this type of demand,” said Mark Mathews, vice president of research at NRF. “If you find yourself in a situation where you add another 10 or 20 pc to that, which is quite possible, it creates real challenges. Retailers struggle to keep their shelves stocked for any holiday purchase while avoiding ending up with too much unsold merchandise if anxious shoppers refuse to open their wallets. The NRF recently forecast a 9.4% drop in total container imports this year.

By starting promotions early – in some cases before Halloween – retailers risk tiring shoppers over the holidays. But analysts and investors say the idea could help push buyers back. Attendance at shopping malls remained just a quarter of last year’s levels, according to data collected by analytics firm Springboard, increasing only 5% since early June.

The July 31 expiration of a $ 600 weekly unemployment benefit, which injected $ 18 billion a week into the economy, is expected to shake up consumer confidence and spending in the coming months.

This week, Walmart, Kohl’s and Target all reported that the back-to-school season – the second most important for retailers – has been ‘choppy’, ‘slow’ and ‘uncertain’, as rampant Covid-19 infections in the United States threw school re-openings into doubt, and shoppers had little or no need for backpacks and uniforms.

Last week, Target, which posted its best quarterly comparable sales growth and online revenue that nearly tripled, announced it would extend back-to-school deals and offers.

Posted in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, August 24, 2020

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