One of the interesting retail real estate trends I’ve been seeing pick up steam in the last couple of years is the willingness of many retailers to look beyond the traditional mall locations. Many are choosing locations on “hot streets,” bustling avenues within major communities that happen to be the retail hub, or in the […]
Jeff Green blog
Overall holiday shopping season sales numbers have been rolling in, and the news confirms what many retail real estate analysts (including myself) suspected: 2014 holiday sales were strong. Nothing earth-shattering — but plenty good enough to chalk this one up as a win. As we chat about in this installment of Retail Rap, there were some bright and not-so-bright spots (December sales were weaker than expected, for example, and numbers didn’t hit some of the more optimistic overall projections), but the takeaway is that we did see the anticipated increase that the industry was looking for. The aggregate figures are generally all up above 3.5% for the period, and several reports came in closer to 4%. The National Retail Federation announced that sales were up 4% to a total of $616.1 billion — a figure which represents the biggest year over year increase since 2011.
The interesting story here is less about the headline number and more about what we see when we peel back the layers of the onion: the category- and brand-specific dynamics that tell us who were the holiday winners and who were the holiday losers in a few select areas including teen fashion and a mixture of popular department stores.
Join me in this edition of Retail Rap and as always, I’d love to hear what you have to say.
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?
Join me in the latest installment of Retail Rap to discuss the the positive developments that are seemingly unfolding for brick-and-mortar retail this year, and let me know what you think, as well.
With 2014 almost over, another holiday shopping season is drawing to a close. The looming question on everyone’s mind, of course, is whether holiday sales managed to live up to the (mostly) positive holiday forecasts from analysts and retail organizations.
As I mentioned in a previous column in Retail Rap, Black Friday landed with a resounding thud, failing to meet expectations and surprising most observers with underwhelming numbers. Given the fact that we didn’t see what we expected on Black Friday (and that the weeks since have been decent, but not remarkable), it seems like our post-season analysis will discover that the last week before Christmas—particularly the last pre-Christmas shopping weekend—will have been enormously important, and ultimately defining.
In this edition of Retail Rap, I discuss things that caught my eye during the holiday shopping season that I found particularly interesting, including discount dynamics, sector surprises, department storing and more.
It has been fascinating to watch the back and forth in recent weeks as competing systems for mobile payment have suddenly been grabbing headlines and jockeying for space in the public consciousness. The rollout of Apple Pay—the new mobile payment system from the Cupertino digital giant that launched Oct. 20th—appears to have brought what was previously a behind-the-scenes battle into the spotlight. With Google Wallet struggling to make inroads and the retailer-designed CurrentC system yet to be implemented, Apple Pay is off to a fast start—but will it last? Will any of these mobile wallet systems gain traction, or will they remain a novelty for a small subset of consumers? In this edition of Retail Rap, we examine the different e-wallets along with the pros and cons of each.
One of my biggest questions regarding mobile payment systems is not “who will win”, but whether or not there will even be winners and losers. Will the mobile payment landscape continue to be hotly contested, and how will that affect adoption? I see the conflict setting up between Apple Pay and CurrentC to be a possible hindrance to consumer acceptance. When you have those competing channels, that competition will slow adoption.
Join me in the latest installment of Retail Rap and share your thoughts on Digital Walleting.
Observant shoppers will have noticed something ominous in recent weeks: the arrival of fall and winter products and holiday marketing/promotions in many stores. As unbelievable as it might seem, considering the fact that much of the country is still experiencing 90-degree heat and a glance at the calendar shows that it is barely September as I write this edition of Retail Rap, the holiday hullabaloo is already underway. The Halloween décor you saw showing up in August in Walmart is not a figment of your imagination, and the cinnamon pinecones you smell in the bins outside the grocery store are really there.
My own personal take on the timing issue is that the holiday season phenomenon has been pushed about as far as it can reasonably go. When we go to the store and see all these signals that fall is here, even though both the weather and the calendar might say otherwise, there’s a kind of seasonal dissonance that sets in. Because who wants winter to come that quickly? How many shoppers are really ready to think about this stuff, much less actually start buying it? Ultimately, I’m not sure if this is helping to move more merchandise.
Let’s discuss the issues that the growing trend of pushing the holiday shopping “season” up earlier may cause for brick-and-mortar retailers in this edition of Retail Rap.