2018 Shopping Season Review

January 30, 2019 4:53 am Published by Leave your thoughts

RETAIL REVIEW In my October 30th blog, I shared about the decline in brick-and-mortar retail stores and the surge of online megaretailers Alibaba and, of course, Amazon. According to The Balance, in-store traffic declined 9% from 2017 to 2018 alone. Coincidentally, sales from November 1st through December 24th were up approximately 5% over the prior year. The Sino-US trade war had minimal effect because retailers stocked up on consumer goods before the government implemented new tariffs. (The Balance)

BEST BUY Big box stores such as Best Buy have had to come up with better ways to compete with the likes of Amazon and get people out and into their stores. They’ve bifurcated their sales promotions into “online only” and “in-store only” pricing by product group. Best Buy wants to drive sales with both types of shoppers. Marketing experts recognize that a lot of people still need to see and touch what they want before they’ll buy it. The electronics retailer has been better at absorbing the market shift than other businesses larger and smaller than itself. Store closures are leaving more communities with half-empty strip malls. Amazon has mastered low price, delivery, and distribution and they simple can no longer compete.

YOU NAME IT People have more options online, and some areas even offer a 2-hour delivery on specific products. Food, alcohol, and even, cannabis delivery services are ramping up for folks that either don’t like crowds or don’t want to leave the house. It’s remarkable, really!

BIG BOX UPHEAVAL It isn’t just local stores that have been closing. Look at K-Mart, Sears, or Macy’s. Closures of thousands of stores nationwide and even debt reorganization have become uneventful. The Black Friday retail winners will be those that can reinvent themselves over growing number of big holiday season shopping days. Who has heard of Green Monday? (The Balance) I hadn’t until now. It’s an old eBay term to describe what once was the last day you could order online and still receive Christmas packages on time. They also touted it as the more environmentally friendly method of shopping, which I think it dubious.

Regardless, the 2018 holiday shopping season did not disappoint the retail market as much as I had thought. It’s great for the economy and encouraging that retail businesses were able to avoid the backlash of political posturing and trade disputes.

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This post was written by Daniel Jones

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