Deep 2016 Cyber Week Promotions and Post-Thanksgiving Week Lull Led to Steep Drop in Sales – Retailers Will Need to Do More to Catch Up With Last Holiday

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NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report: Despite the online promotion noise, the post-Thanksgiving week llull was even quieter than last year. According to The NPD Group’s weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories, dollar sales in the fifth week of the 2016 holiday shopping season, which included a week of online promotions, was 5 percent lower than the same week in 2015.

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report - Wk5 Chart.jpg

"Bigger discounts mean deeper holes to climb out of to match last year’s sales numbers,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen.

Despite the online promotion noise, the post-Thanksgiving week lull was even quieter than last year. According to The NPD Group’s weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories, dollar sales in the fifth week of the 2016 holiday shopping season, which included Cyber Monday, was 5 percent lower than the same week in 2015. Cumulatively, dollar sales in the first five weeks of the 2016 holiday shopping season were 3 percent behind the first five weeks of the 2015 holiday season.

Week Ending December 3, 2016*
Overall Performance

  • Dollar sales in the fifth week of Holiday 2016 were 5 percent lower than the fifth week Holiday 2015.
  • The only industry to outperform the same week last year was Athletic Footwear, up 2 percent.
  • For the first time since the second week of the 2016 holiday season, Toys and Prestige Fragrance dollar sales were lower than the same week in 2015, down 5 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Top Performing Categories

  • Total PC’s
  • Home Automation
  • Sport Leisure Shoes
  • Wearables (‘Top 5’ list debut)
  • Outdoor & Sport Toys

“The fifth week of Holiday 2016 brought the customary post-Black Friday lull, along with deeper discounts and more abundant week-long deals than in the past. Bigger discounts mean deeper holes to climb out of to match last year’s sales numbers,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. “Late adopters are checking in on last year’s wearable tech trends – marketers are clearly challenged to keep consumers engaged, which is further complicated by the increasing need to compete across multiple channels. However, retailers cannot continue to discount themselves off the path to growth.”

  • Information is collected from a panel of leading retailers that provide weekly point-of-sale data covering in-store and online sales of Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, and Prestige Fragrances.

Note: Shifts may occur from week to week in reporting results, due to retailer reporting updates.

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Janine Marshall
The NPD Group
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