Several Categories Begin 2018 With Positive Momentum After A Successful Holiday 2017, Reports NPD

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The season’s shopping trends also reveal a shift in the cadence of holiday shopping

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2017 Weekly Report - Wk9 Chart.jpg

"The season’s hot holiday sellers send a clear message of an increased emphasis on generally enhancing one’s lifestyle," said NPD’s Chief Industry Advisor, Marshal Cohen. "The bigger picture shows that our shopping seasons are shifting, and traditional start and end-points are blurring."

Small home appliances and prestige beauty were the top performing general merchandise industries of Holiday 2017, in the spotlight for much of the season in the U.S., which ended on a particularly strong note. But that is just part of the Holiday 2017 narrative, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The standout categories in each of the key general merchandise categories tracked tell the full story of Holiday 2017:

  • The women’s segment saw the largest dollar growth of all apparel this holiday season, driven by dresses, sweats/active bottoms, and outerwear.
  • Playset dolls and collectibles drove the most dollar gains in the toy industry this holiday season.
  • Consumer technology’s big winners were home automation, driven by security and monitoring, and smart entry, as well as stereo headphones, and mobile power.
  • The spending focus in athletic footwear was on sport leisure/sport lifestyle offerings.
  • Fragrance juices led dollar gains in prestige beauty, followed by makeup face products.
  • The season’s hot small home appliance performance was driven by sales of cookers (more specifically, multi-cookers), air fryers, specialty cleaning (robotic vacuums in particular), and oral care appliances.
  • The slime craze continues to put office supplies on the map beyond the back-to-school season, with big dollar sales growth in glues and adhesives.

“This holiday season saw an eclectic mix of a few hot products selling off shelves, some staple gift items, lots of self-gifting, and seasonal essentials,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Advisor, Marshal Cohen. “Even with such an assortment, the season’s hot holiday sellers send a clear message of an increased emphasis on comfort, home, and generally enhancing one’s lifestyle.”

Beyond category winners, the week that began on Christmas Eve and concluded on December 30 was also a season standout with a 15 percent increase over the same week in 2016 across the key general merchandise categories in NPD’s Holiday Shopping Bag, helping to secure an overall positive finish to the season. Almost every industry tracked saw growth during the ninth and final week of the season, with Toys, Small Home Appliances, and Prestige Beauty leading the way.

“Despite consumers’ plans to get their holiday shopping done on the earlier side, the extra week and weekend of shopping brought out the procrastinators in many of us,” added Cohen. “The bigger picture shows that our shopping seasons are shifting, and traditional start and end-points are blurring more than ever. Part of this shift will make it important for retail to keep an eye on the growing importance of January as part of their peak selling season.”

Top Performing Categories in Week 9

  • Men’s Apparel (driven by Sweats/Active Bottoms & Tops)
  • Women’s Apparel (driven by Outerwear & Sleepwear)
  • Fragrance Juices
  • Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys
  • Home Environment Appliances (driven by Heaters)

Information is collected from a panel of leading retailers that provide weekly point-of-sale data covering U.S. in-store and online sales of Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, Prestige Beauty (Fragrance, Makeup, Skincare), Small Home Appliances, and Office Supplies.

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

For more information, or to speak with Marshal Cohen, please contact Janine Marshall, 516-625-2356 or janine.marshall(at)npd(dot)com, and visit NPD’s Holiday Insights page.

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Janine Marshall
The NPD Group
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