Retailers Look To Redefine Holidays For Q4

Retailers Look To Redefine Holidays For Q4

What a difference a day makes – or doesn’t make. While the retail industry waits for Amazon to officially announce Prime Day, some other events are starting to take their places on the calendar.

The most interesting comes from Wayfair, which announced on Wednesday (Sept. 16) that its branded Way Day 2020 event will kick off next Friday, Sept. 23. This year, it will be extended to a full two-day sales event across all of its brands: Wayfair, AllModern, Joss & Main and Birch Lane. The company is promising free shipping and up to 80 percent off best-selling products from all major categories. Customers can sign up for alerts immediately via the company’s phone app, for limited-time flash deals.

“We have partnered with our thousands of suppliers to source the best possible pricing so we can offer 48 hours of flash deals and unbeatable savings for every room in the home across all styles and budgets,” said Steve Oblak, chief merchandising officer of Wayfair. “We hope these savings come at a time that is helpful to our customers as they settle into the fall season and work and school routines.”

On the more general side of the retail ledger, a proposed “Mirror Day” on Oct. 10 is gaining traction. The proposal would “mirror” the Alibaba-sponsored Singles Day in China, which falls on Nov. 11 (11.11). More than two dozen major retailers have signed on so far, said Deborah Weinswig, a retail consultant who came up with the idea for the holiday. The rewards app Shopkick Inc. is a partner in the effort and, according to Bloomberg, is launching a 10.10 website. However, there is no link yet on the Shopkick site, nor has there been any official announcement from the company or its retail partners.

“The aim is to pull holiday shopping into October from closer to Christmas so retailers can cope with limits on both shipping capacity and available merchandise,” says Bloomberg. “Unprecedented demand during the pandemic has constrained shipping, while product selection is low because the outbreak and subsequent lockdown disrupted holiday planning this spring.”

The effort is counting on an early holiday season. Several retailers are accommodating that change, with Target, Amazon and Home Depot offering early Black Friday sales. Some independent evidence has surfaced to support that shopper behavior. A consumer survey released this week from PowerReviews says that 25 percent of consumers will start shopping early this year. Forty percent of that cohort says they will spend more this year than last year, And 64 percent said they will spend more online this year.

PowerReviews Director of Insights Carol Krakowski told PYMNTS that the trend toward early online shopping could be driven by shipping concerns. Sixty percent of the survey respondents are concerned that shipping could delay their purchases.

“And they were concerned about supply chain issues because of the various manufacturing disruptions that had happened over the past year,” Krakowski said. “It could also be that consumers are ready to shop, and the lack of Halloween has accelerated that. There's that shifting of the consumer dollar earlier than we've ever seen it, and I think retailers will be really excited to hear about that.”



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