Wednesday to Sunday!
31 Jan – 4 Feb 2018
Retailers such as Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s have brought forward winter holiday promotions to as early as October and have joined Walmart in announcing store closures on Thanksgiving.
Black Friday will not see midnight opening from such retailers this year, as the highly publicised promotional activity that traditionally kicks off holiday trading across the US is incompatible with current social distancing recommendations. Indeed, in-store Black Friday sales look to be doubtful, although retailers say they are still considering how best to approach the landmark shopping date.
Kohl’s chief executive Michelle Gass said that “a holiday season like no other” means emphasizing the categories that are in demand at the moment, including toys, which continues to perform robustly.
Ecommerce is expected to reach a record 15% of all US sales this year, and retailers are exploring the most cost effective strategies. Some logistics firms are urging retail clients to pace promotions, and be selctive in their offers, in order to avoid overstretching delivery capacity, with shipping companies adding high surcharges and limiting shipments for some customers during peak season.
By starting promotions early, in some cases before Halloween, retailers could potentially spread out delivery demand, easing pressure on logistics companies. Analysts and investors believe the idea could help draw shoppers back, as footfall in retail centers remains sluggish, although the strategy also runs the risk of giving shoppers holiday fatigue.