While there were some reported ups and downs over the course of last year’s holiday shopping season, the early takeaway is that the season was, in the end, positive. While we’ll have to wait for hard numbers for more detailed insight, and while definitive conclusions might be a bit much to draw at this point, it does seem to me, as discussed in this edition of Retail Rap, like the increased length of the ever-expanding holiday shopping season didn’t have any appreciable negative impact. Regardless of the final sales numbers, that’s at least one positive development we can take away — and, given the way the season seems to grow every year, it might be an important one.
Perhaps the biggest factor impacting brick and mortar in 2015 and beyond is neither a positive nor a negative — at least not yet. It is a challenge, an unanswered question with a lot riding on the industry’s collective response: can retailers successfully optimize sales over all distribution channels?