Analysts Weigh in on Holiday Sales

How are the holidays shaping up with analysts?

So far footwear market watchers have an overall positive reaction to sales this holiday season, despite challenging weather conditions and a lack of trends driving apparel and women’s footwear.

While electronics and home goods drove the majority of holiday traffic, athleisure items and increasing digital options for shoppers were clear drivers for footwear.

For sneaker-market expert and NPD analyst Matt Powell, more shoe releases at the start of the season helped to driver shoppers and interest for the holidays. He said one of the major things he noticed for the season was a modest discounting by sports retailers.

“Compared to the rest of the stores in the mall, the discounting in Sports retailers was quite muted. The challenged areas of Golf, Guns and Fitness equipment saw the deepest cuts. Apparel and Footwear saw a nominal amount of discounting. Many items were advertised at full price,” said Powell in a note.

Sterne Agee analyst Sam Poser was feeling optimistic after basketball sneaker and Jordan brand sales increased ahead of the holiday 24.8 percent.

Analyst Jennifer Black also said that she felt positive after more brands turned attention to omnichannel strategy.

“The online channel has become the bigger growth vehicle for most retailers as they implement ‘Reserve in Store,’ ‘Order in Store,’ and develop partnerships with third-party distributors like Shoprunner, for example. We expect more changes in the digital arena as retailers try to gain ground and take market share by being faster to market,” wrote Black in a note.

She also said Nordstrom was one winner in the department store arena: “Nordstrom was a strong contender, and we believe [it] had a very solid holiday season and [that] the price matching drove significant sales. The stores were constantly busy pre-Christmas as well as post-Christmas, with a significant amount of sales being filled online, especially with the free shipping.”

With the New Year’s sales shopping wrapping up this week, analysts are closely watching how gift cards redemption and sales pan out for the remainder of the year.

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