During the Sixth Week Lull of Holiday’16, In-Store and Online Sales Shortfall Deepened – New Dynamics and The Final Shopping Push Will be Critical

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2016 Weekly Report

The annual holiday sales lull was deeper than last year, increasing the challenge facing retail to beat or meet last year’s results. 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 sixth week of the 2016 holiday shopping season  were 5 percent lower than the same week in 2015. Cumulatively, dollar sales in the first six weeks of the 2016 holiday shopping season were 4 percent behind the first six weeks of the 2015 holiday season.

Overall Performance

  • Dollar sales in the sixth week of Holiday 2016 were 5 percent lower than the sixth week Holiday 2015.
  • Apparel was the only industry to outperform the same week last year, but was only up 1 percent.
  • Toys saw their steepest declines of the season so far, down 9 percent compared to the same week in 2015.

Week Ending December 10, 2016*

Top Performing Categories

  • Women’s Outerwear
  • PC’s/Notebooks
  • Home Automation
  • Men’s Outerwear
  • Stereo Headphones

“The holiday lull of week six is deeper than retailers want, but they drove it with deeper and deeper discounts. This year’s trend clearly demonstrates how extreme promotions, now most noticeable in toys and electronics, are steering retail off the path of growth,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. “As we pass the shipping deadline, brick-and-mortar will recapture some of what online continues to steal, doing so by emphasizing online shopping with in-store pick-up. Colder weather across the country also changes the equation, starting with an awakening for outerwear sales. In this final holiday push, we will begin to see new factors, beyond promotion, impacting holiday sales.”

* 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.

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

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