Posts Tagged ‘Sales’
Even Christmas tree sales are struggling this year, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. Real and fake tree sales are expected to decline 2.5 and 5.1 percent, respectively, as fewer people have multiple trees in their home (i.e. dining room and living room) this holiday.
“People are looking at every which way to save a buck but also continue with the Christmas spirit,” says Toon van Beeck, a senior industry analyst for IBISWorld. “That’s why we’re seeing an increase in do-it-yourself and used trees.”
One tree category expected to fare particularly well this season is used, fake trees. IBISWorld expects these tree sales to grow 4.0 percent this holiday.
For the second year running, this will be a make or break holiday for retailers, as many cannot survive another season of suppressed sales. With total gift sales forecasted to decline 2.6 percent this Christmas season, “necessity gift” like clothing will be the only growth category, according to industry research IBISWorld.
“Clothing is the only gift category to see growth this year because it serves a dual purpose,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Parents are using this Christmas season as an excuse to update their children’s wardrobes, still filling space under the tree and ultimately saving money in the long run.”
As the biggest retail category, clothing represents 18.6 percent of total Christmas gift sales in 2009, at $81.91 billion. Discount and convenient retailers like Zappos and Kohl’s will continue to see strong sales volumes, as consumers move away from higher-end goods to more value-added purchases.
However, brand name products and celebrity labels are going to fare poorly this year, while basic clothing items are expected to perform well. Overall, clothes are expected to rebound from their dismal performance a year ago – which was among the worst Christmas retailing seasons this century.
I’m usually a big fan of Nordstrom, but my recent transaction with the company has made me NEVER want to shop there again! Why you ask? Because it took six weeks, ten phone calls to customer service, three calls to UPS and a letter to Nordstrom’s corporate headquarters to get the coat I purchased!!
I don’t know about you, but I find that sort of service unacceptable. I ordered my coat on Sept. 20 and didn’t receive it until Oct. 30 , when I was told it would arrive in 5-8 business days!
So what went wrong? Apparently the coat left the Nordstrom’s warehouse via UPS. From there, UPS “tried” to deliver the package to my second-story apartment but couldn’t find my unit (out of an eight-unit building). Shocking, I know.
Seeing that the UPS carrier was too lazy to walk up a flight of stairs – that’s a story for another day – there was no package notice left to alert me that the coat was sent back to Nordstrom.
So, Nordstrom sent out ANOTHER coat and the cycle with UPS started all over again. But here’s the kicker…Nordstrom failed to inform me (the customer) of the status of my order. So in the meantime, I’m calling the company’s customer service and getting the runaround. On three occasions customer service promised me the package would arrive the next day and it never did. On two occasions they promised me a return phone call and never called back – infuriating!
Finally, four weeks after my purchase I got a UPS slip on my apartment door saying the package couldn’t be delivered. I called UPS and they said the package had been sent back to Nordstrom. So I called Nordstrom and they finally explained the troubles they were having with shipping and asked me for an alternative address to ship the coat (which they should have done weeks prior). I gave them my work address and the package still didn’t show up for another 10 days!
The most disturbing part of this whole story is that I probably would never have received my coat had I not been such a squeaky wheel. Also, I had asked for a refund for all the time I spent tracking down this coat (40 days) and Nordstrom wouldn’t give me one. If I were you, I’d think twice when ordering from this company. Unless you have the time to order you swimsuit in February so it’s there by June.
And let’s not let UPS off that easy. The icing on the cake is that I got a UPS delivery a week later to my second-story apartment. What’s that all about?! Do their carriers pick and choose the packages they want to deliver? If Nordstrom was smart it would switch to Fed-Ex.
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Americans can’t afford to dine out this Thanksgiving so they’re eating even more turkey at home than last year, according to industry research firm IBISWorld.
Of total 2009 Thanksgiving sales, 92.5 percent, or $27.64 billion, will be spent on food and drinks alone. Turkey is the single biggest purchase, with 47.1 million birds expected to be consumed this holiday – up from last year’s level of 45.3 million birds.
In fact, turkey consumption during Thanksgiving will account for nearly 19 percent of all turkeys produced in the U.S. during 2009!
“The recession has caused people to go back to family values as opposed to simply buying presents,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Consumers just don’t have the money to fork out on unnecessary gifts and luxuries such as traveling. Instead they’ll cherish time spent with close family and friends.”
Despite economic gloom casting a spell on consumer confidence this year, America’s darkest holiday is looking bright for retailers. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, Halloween sales are expected to reach a record-breaking $6 billion in 2009, up 4.2 percent from the $5.77 billion generated last year.
“Economic recovery appears to be around the corner and consumers are enthusiastically looking to escape their recessionary woes,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Even last year, when the outlook was much worse, the Halloween spirit remained unhindered as we saw total sales actually jump 5.1 percent from 2007.”
It appears an increasing number of people are buying treats this year, making candy the fastest growing holiday category. The average person is estimated to spend about $22.50 on Halloween treats in 2009.
Also fuelling this year’s record-breaking sales is the demand for holiday decorations. With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, more adults are expected to join the fun. In fact, 32 percent of people celebrating the holiday will either host or attend a party. For this reason, IBISWorld expects decorations to reach its highest level yet at $1.64 billion.
“Halloween-related festivities are a growing trend and this is driving sales of decorations and candy,” adds van Beeck. “Dollar and variety stores stand to benefit from the 4.4 percent increase in decoration sales, as consumers look to purchase cheap and disposable thrills to make a memorable evening.”
Call it escapism or just good, old-fashioned fun, Americans of all ages show the desire to go all out when it comes to dressing-up. Costumes are expected to generate the greatest amount of revenue this Halloween, but growth is slight (2.4 percent) as consumers will apply more frugal but creative approaches when shopping.
”Despite more people participating in festivities, money is still tight and consumers will look to cut corners when it comes costume purchases,” said van Beeck. “Instead of buying a packaged costume, which can cost up to $60 on average, people will get more eclectic and opt for cheaper individual items.”
But given the lack of growth for the card category, not all cheaper items will fare well this year. While cards did well last year, as consumers chose to cut back on pricier categories, 2009 expenditures will revert back to traditional shopping habits.
“Although unemployment is still very high, the overall outlook is far rosier today than it was this time last year,” adds van Beeck. “For this reason, IBISWorld expects the upward trend in Halloween expenditures to continue its course for 2009, which despite economic conditions will prove to be the best year yet.”
Despite the economic downturn and retail sales plummeting, this Father ’s Day it looks like dads are going from handyman to dandyman, as sales of pampering services and related products are expected to increase 35.7 percent, according to industry research firm IBISWorld.
Although pampering services only accounts for a small portion of total Father’s Day spending on the nation’s 66.3 million dads as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, pampering is emerging as this holiday’s fastest growing gift category with consumers expected to spend $190 million compared to $140 million in 2008.
“Traditional Father’s Day gifts, such as tools and electronics are declining this year while spa services, personal care products, and greeting cards are increasing,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “It seems that ‘New Age’ dads are this year’s fad.” Mr. van Beeck added, “According the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 66.3 million fathers in the nation today which demonstrates the impact spending on Father’s Day has on the U.S. economy.”
This Memorial Day it’s all about savings, as consumers look to cut costs while still maintaining a fun three-day weekend. Fortunately savvy shoppers, who purchase store brands over brand-name products, stand to save 16.3 percent on their total holiday grocery bill, according to IBISWorld research to the left.
“In essence, store brands turn the clock back two to three years,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Without inflation, store-brand groceries this Memorial Day weekend are comparable in price to brand-name groceries during the 2007 holiday.”
Based on the average holiday shopping cart above, the 16.3 percent savings puts about $10 back into consumers’ pockets. That means with approximately 117,641,000 households in the U.S., the nation could save about $1.18 billion if everyone celebrated Memorial Day in the same fashion and went the store-brand route as opposed to the brand name route.