NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report - Holiday 2016 Ended with a Ho-Ho-Hum

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Retail Failed to Sustain Momentum and Maximize the Final Week of the Holiday Shopping Season

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"The dynamics of holiday shopping are changing, and retailers need to learn how to better leverage this post-holiday opportunity," said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen.

Following the banner retail sales week leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah, the final week of 2016 returned to the lethargic trend seen through most of the holiday season. According to The NPD Group’s weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories across in-store and online channels, dollar sales in the ninth and final week of the 2016 holiday shopping season were 5 percent lower than the same week in 2015. Cumulatively, dollar sales for the nine weeks of the 2016 holiday shopping season were 1 percent behind the nine weeks of the 2015 season.

Week Ending December 31, 2016*
Overall Performance

  • Dollar sales in the ninth week of Holiday 2016 were 5 percent lower than the ninth week of Holiday 2015.
  • Toys (+10%), and Prestige Fragrance (+2%) were the two industries that managed to maintain their positive momentum from the prior week.

Top Performing Categories

  • Sport Leisure Footwear
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Home Automation
  • Games/Puzzles
  • Total PC’s (driven by Notebooks)

“Despite year-over-year declines, the week after Christmas proved to be just as valuable as the first two weeks in November. Even with all the early promotions that retailers offered up this year, consumers still found post-Christmas shopping appealing, which ultimately resulted in retail moving a lot of merchandise at deep discounts,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. “The final week of the holiday season remains an important part of the equation, going beyond gift card redemption and exchanges – gift cards and unwanted holiday gifts bring shoppers into stores they may not frequent, giving stores the opportunity to introduce themselves to a new audience. The dynamics of holiday shopping are changing, and retailers need to learn how to better leverage this post-holiday opportunity.”

*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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