Retail sales got a shot in the arm from last-minute holiday shoppers looking for a bargain.
The final shopping weekend of the holidays provided a slight boost to consumer traffic, store owners told Footwear News.
“Christmas fell on a Sunday, so people had that Saturday to shop if they really needed to,” said Steve Silver, owner of Next in Cleveland, Ohio. “Customers had that opportunity to take advantage of the weekend if they had work [before].”
Saxon Shoes president Gary Weiner said, “We were insanely busy [this weekend], and we ran about the same promotions as last year, nothing different or special.”
But it was the day after Christmas that really set tills ringing for Weiner, whose stores are located in Richmond and Fredericksburg, Va. He said sales for that day were up 85 percent over last year, and sales for the month of December are on track to be up 10 percent year over year.
“The [holiday] season itself is turning out fairly [strong],” Weiner said. “The calendar fell pretty good for us this year, with Monday being a holiday [for many].”
B. Riley & Co. analyst Jeff Van Sinderen, who found mall traffic in Los Angeles over the holidays to be very strong, agreed the day after Christmas was a big shopping day.
“That’s when clearance sales started, and because it was a Monday, people didn’t have alternative activities like church or watching football,” he noted. “This week is still a big week. People are out shopping but they’re very bargain-hungry.”
Aiding shoe sales in some stores was Nike’s release last Friday of the Air Jordan XI, which according to some news reports caused riots among sneakerheads across the country.
Next’s Silver said customers camped out in front all of his four locations beginning Thursday night. “It was a great release, and all [of the shoes] were sold out the same day,” he said.
Sneakerology co-owner Gary Dworetz said while the holiday season has been steady and non-promotional, he, too, saw a slight boost in sales at his upstate New York stores due to Nike’s latest release.
After a year of ramping up marketing efforts through social media, Dworetz added he expects December sales to be up in the low single digits this year over last.