Holiday 2015 Infographic
Date January 2015
The holiday shopping season is of critical importance to the retail industry. Operators can earn in excess of 50% of their annual revenue during this single sales period, depending on the sector.
2015 was notable for many reasons. Given the climate of distress and secular change affecting the industry as it reconciles with the shift to digital, performance during the holiday season for many provides an important signal of success.
In keeping with our predictions that the impact of omni-channel retail is still running its course, foot traffic and store sales were down over Black Friday and the entire Thanksgiving Weekend. While total period spending was up, sales shifted in two directions, and came in slightly below expectations.
The first, more benign shift in sales was simply to other shopping days within the holiday season. Christmas creep is pulling promotions forward and drawing the start of the season right up to Halloween. Additionally, in contrast to the big shopping event of Black Friday, sales are continuing to shift into Thanksgiving Day and throughout the whole Thanksgiving weekend, right up to Cyber Monday.
This brings us to the other directional shift—online. 2015 paints a very clear picture of where the industry is heading, with pronounced strength in online channels throughout the season. Cyber Monday represented the single biggest online shopping day of all time. Digital performance represented the silver lining for retail this year as consumers sour on in-store Black Friday events and continue to insist on shopping on their own terms—mostly online and with the assistance of mobile technology.
All this means that retailers need to adapt, with technological innovation and by scaling their footprints for agility and efficiency. The holiday period simply throws into contrast what has been a persistent trend in retail over the past few years, and one that will continue to shape the industry well into the New Year.