It looks like the 2013 holiday shopping season is shaping up to be extremely competitive. As detailed in this New York Times story, retailers are bracing for a holiday season they believe may be quite difficult. There are two main reasons cited most often for the challenges that the 2013 Christmas selling season may bring. First, the U.S. economy continues to lag, with unemployment rates remaining north of seven percent.
Second, there is an extremely short time period between the traditional start of holiday shopping, the Friday after Thanksgiving (a.k.a. Black Friday), and Christmas (six days less compared to 2012). In fact, this span (only 26 days) is the shortest possible since November 28 is the latest Thanksgiving can be. The effect of these two issues is that retailers fear shoppers will not be increasing their level of spending compared to what they spent the last few years. And the last few years were not all that great.
As we noted earlier, several retailers are already in full holiday selling mode and others will be there come Thanksgiving night. In addition to pre-Black Friday promotions and early store openings, this story offers other tactics retailers plan to employ to building in-store and online traffic. It includes Sharper Image creating a special video featuring actress Betty White, which the retailer hopes will spread via social media; Lexus continuing its “buy someone a car for Christmas” theme but focusing on a younger target market; and fundraising efforts by high-end retailers located along Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and Madison Avenue in New York. The story also offers several other examples of promotions being rolled out by other retailers.