Finally! A positive headline about retail: "An Exceptional Black Friday Weekend for Cold Weather Items" is the title of the latest report from Weather Trends International. One thing that's working in favor of retail sales is the weather turning 40 degrees colder midweek throughout the Central U.S.
That'll help drivers shoppers into stores and help retailers sell those coats, sweaters, gloves, etc., that have been sitting on shelves for the past few months. Weather strategy firm Planalytics is projecting that weather driven demand will boost sales of boots/seasonal footwear (+21%) and outerwear (+12%), as will as, hardline categories like portable heaters (+25%) and automotive products (11%).
I'll be live inside a Best Buy and then at a Philadelphia area mall this weekend. I'll let you know if these trends check out.
On another holiday retail note, so far my favorite research note today is Credit Suisse's report that ranks Christmas trees and advises on how to have a 'greener' holiday. Credit Suisse reports that the most popular Christmas tree is the Scotch Pine, the best for hanging ornaments is the Fraser + Balsam Fir while the best for tinsel is the Douglas Fir. Connoisseurs steer toward the Concolor or White Fir which smells of tangerine (really?) and allergic types prefer the not-so-fragrant Blue Spruce.
I'm still trying to decide whether or not to get a tree. Is the smell and festiveness worth the mess of pine needs all over my apartment? Probably....though I guess that means I should get rid of my Halloween/Thanksgiving pumpkin.
Here's my question for holiday gear: Will the "going green" environmental trend actually hurt sales of Christmas/holiday cards this year? Will people actually opt for e-cards rather than the disposible paper ones? My guess is no...ecards are received and read in less than 10 minutes. The holiday picture laden Christmas card sticks to the fridge door for years. Tradition trumps ecards.
What do you think? Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org