Ahead of Black Friday, chatter about retail sales and traffic trends is heating up. Footwear News caught up with a few of footwear and apparel’s best and brightest market watchers for the scoop on the holidays.
Read on for their expectations.
Top Performers: “Skechers should be in pretty good shape for holiday — the brand continues to do well at its own stores, and its domestic sell-throughs remain solid. Steve Madden will be a relatively strong-performing brand — they have great product and there’s enough fashion to drive the business. TJ Maxx has great product and is benefiting from the excess merchandise that is out there. JCPenney has had strong comps and has added to their footwear assortment, which seems to be resonating well .”
— Jeff Van Sinderen, B. Riley & Co. analyst
Weather Woes: “We operate on cues, and the weather has not given the cue that spurs traffic and consumption [of winter products]. The U.S. consumer is doing fine but is more selective now. There is evidence of consumers shopping and buying when they have the desire for it. During the holidays, department stores will win the store-traffic battle because of their heavy promotions.”
— Camilo Lyon, Canaccord Genuity Inc. analyst
Weather, Inventory & Top Performers: “We’re dealing with warm weather, so cold-weather product is not performing as well as people would like. And a lot of [retailers bought cold-weather] product aggressively this year because of how bad the weather got last year. This environment tests how well you know your customer and how nimble you are. Steve Madden stays exceptionally nimble. Nike, Under Armour, Foot Locker, Skechers, Shoe Carnival and Famous Footwear are in a good position for the holidays.”
— Sam Poser, Sterne Agee CRT analyst
The Changing Consumer: “The economic backdrop is pretty solid going into the holiday season. The areas where consumers are spending are different than they have been in the past. Consumers have more choice today, and they are choosing experiences, travel and restaurants. But there is encouraging competition by fast-fashion retailers. There is an abundance of off-price channels that provide brands at very competitive price points. Consumers can do their own digging — whether it’s online or in stores.” — Dana Telsey, CEO & chief research officer at Telsey Advisory Group