Herein lies the contradiction.
Consumers are expected to head online and to stores in droves over the next few days in hopes of nabbing their share of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
While electronics and tech items are forecast (per usual) to draw the largest crowds, footwear is also expected to lure in its share of deal-hungry shoppers. According to retail market research firm The NPD Group, when it comes to overall footwear industry buying, Cyber Monday has been the No. 1 online shopping day while Black Friday has landed as No. 1 in-store and No. 2 online.
But, as far as how much consumers are actually spending shoes (or average spend per buyer), the NPD said most of the top shopping days — both online and in-store — fell outside of the holiday season last year. The news doesn’t bode well for retail, which is carrying the weight of high expectations heading into the holidays as well as looming fear that the company could offset potential gains by being too promotional.
Nevertheless, the NPD’s fashion footwear and accessories analyst Beth Goldstein said the sheer volume of consumers heading to stores and the web in search of footwear on Thanksgiving weekend, “illustrates the importance of these days to footwear’s success during the holiday season.”
“The increased number of buyers that are purchasing on these days significantly over-compensates for the lower spend per buyer — with regard to topline sales at least — [but] margins are another story,” Goldsten added.
When it comes to other fashion categories like apparel, NPD found that Black Friday was the most important day of 2017 for in-store spending per buyer, while Thanksgiving was the dominant day for housewares and technology products.
Overall, with consumer confidence hitting an 18-year high in October, forecasters are hopeful that holiday spending will reflect the upbeat sentiment.
The National Retail Federation predicts an increase of 4.3 and 4.8 percent in holiday retail sales in November and December over the same period last year, for a total of between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion.