2019 Holiday Season Retail Sales Wrap-Up

The holidays are a hectic time for a lot of different reasons. One thing that remains constant through the chaos of work events, family gatherings, and inclement weather is the hustle and bustle of the retail world. This post will feature a summary of some key findings in the analysis of the 2019 holiday season done by Adobe Analytics. Primary focus will be placed on Cyber Weekend, the continuing shift of consumers’ use of cell phones to complete holiday shopping, the disparity of sales between large and small retailers, and a brief note about holiday travel.

Cyber Weekend Remains a Strong Weekend
As could be predicted, Cyber Weekend continues to be the most profitable weekend in holiday shopping season. Cyber Weekend is defined as the time period beginning with Thanksgiving Day and continuing until the Monday after Thanksgiving. This year’s weekend accounted for a greater share (20%) of total retail revenue in the holiday season as opposed to the 2018 weekend (19%). This may be due in part to the holiday season being shorter this year than previous years but the principle still remains that Cyber Weekend is a major source of revenue for retailers during the holiday shopping season. In addition, retailers accounted for the abbreviated holiday season by starting to advertise deals and sales earlier in the year.

Holiday Shopping Shifts to Pockets
For the first time, Christmas shopping on cell phones has become more prevalent than shopping on desktops. The amount of revenue made during the holiday retail season is due in large part to smartphone shopping. More specifically, it is estimated that there will be an increase of over $10 billion spent from smartphones over last year’s total. This may be due in part to the increased efficiency of online shopping via smartphones. Many retailers offer applications to streamline the sale process, further enticing consumers to make use of the service to shop.

Retail Giants
An additional takeaway from this holiday season is the disparity in sales between big retailers versus smaller retailers. For purposes of this article, the distinction between a big retailer versus a small retailer is drawn based on annual sales revenue. A retailer that has annual sales revenue in excess of $1 billion is considered a big retailer, whereas a company with annual sales revenue less than $50 million is considered a small retailer. The disparity is rather large, with big retailers seeing almost double the amount of sales. The reason for this disparity can be attributed to an uptick in consumer shopping at big retailers during the holiday season, with many using their cell phones to shop.

November 6th is the Day to Book Travel
As a quick practical note to readers, specifically readers that want to travel during the New Year’s holiday, it appears that November 6th is the best day to book travel, as flight prices are particularly low that day compared to subsequent days.

In conclusion, this holiday season was busy, as anticipated, with Cyber Weekend continuing to be a big source of revenue, smartphone shopping has begun to overtake desktop shopping, retail giants continue to dominate holiday sales, and November 6th is the day to book New Year’s travel.

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Timothy H. Watkins's picture

Acquisitions and dispositions of office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses and raw land, joint ventures, real property secured and mezzanine loans, and like-kind exchanges are the focus of Tim Watkins' practice. Tim also handles all aspects of real estate agreements including joint venture agreements, leases, development agreements, property management agreements and listing agreements.

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