Sure, you haven't put away your Halloween decorations yet, and Thanksgiving is still weeks away. But this is 21st century America - the holiday madness has already begun, and minds have turned to shopping and all the deals to be had.
Take Two's Styled Side contributor Michelle Dalton Tyree, and editor of the style site Fashion Trends Daily, says things are looking pretty cheery.
The retail sales forecast
- The National Retail Federation has predicted more sunshine when it comes to spending this holiday
- Holiday spending is expected to increase 3.6 percent to $655.8 Billion up, higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent
- Consumers plan to spend an average of about $936 dollars this holiday shopping season
When the shopping REALLY begins
- The National Retail Federation says it's really off to the races after the election
- That's according NRF President Matthew Shay who says that "retailers should prepare for a rush of consumers in the weeks following the presidential election as they get more economic and political certainty."
Shopping for yours truly
- There ARE a lot of early birds this year checking off that list, with 41 percent of consumers saying they were saying that actually started October or even earlier
- Fifty-eight percent of consumers plan to buy for themselves, spending an average of $139.61, up 4 percent from last year's $133.74 and marking the second-highest level of personal spending in the survey's 13-year history.
- Susan Vance, director of marketing for the Beverly Center shopping mall, said it's always been that way and that because the center really caters to the fashion maven & entertainment industry in LA, they do have a lot of "self purchasers," which is people going to holidays parties and events and buying for that. She said do buy gifts for company and personal towards the end of the season.
Retail enticements and a "curated" selection
- Meredith Kaplan the owner of Gratus, a designer boutique in Beverly Hills that carries everything from denim to designer collections from Marni and Nina Ricci and she said that the name of the game is highly personalized customer service coupled with a "highly curated" collection
- Curated is that buzzword we're hearing a lot when designers and retailers want to explain that their offerings are the antithesis of mass market/fast fashion
- Social media is key for smaller stores such as Gratus as well: They post on Instagram and send out emails
- Events are also key: They have holiday trunk shows planned with LA designers Juan Carlos Obando and Peter Cohen
- Susan Vance of Beverly Center said that even for retailers such as Bev Center, it's about what they call the "customer journey".. meaning amenities & extras
- Beverly Center is offering free self parking on Black Friday and also on Dec 15
- For the first time, they've also brought in LA artists to do large-scale interior and exterior artwork as a way to create a little color during construction that is currently ongoing
The price factor this season
- The top three shopping destinations for customers according to the NRF are department stores, online shops and discount stores, according to the NRF. And all are evenly split in terms of where customers say they will shop this season.
- Interestingly, Millennials are leading the charge for good deals - younger shoppers are really looking forward to Black Friday Both for deals AND the experience, and they are waiting to shop later for better deals
- Christine Moon, buyer for Bev Hills boutique Gratus, said that despite carrying designer collections they are still incredibly mindful of prices both for the customer and their own inventory - their prices range from a $75 T-shirt to a $2,500 gown.