Kentucky Retail Federation’s 2015 Holiday Shopping Season Survey Results Released
Sixty percent of independent retailers plan to offer sales or shopping incentives during Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend, however only 20 percent reported intentions to participate in the Cyber Monday action taking place next week online. When asked about Small Business Saturday and shop local initiatives, approximately 60 percent of respondents said they plan to participate in the event or one like it this holiday season.
In a recent survey by the Kentucky Retail Federation, independent retailers across the Commonwealth were asked about their efforts to prepare for the holiday shopping season. While big box retailers tend to be known for increasing their seasonal hours, only 20 percent of Kentucky’s independent retailer respondents intend to increase their normal store hours during the 2015 holiday shopping season. Of the independent retailers hiring seasonal employees this year, almost all reported no plans to increase their seasonal workforce from the size of their 2014 holiday seasonal employment.
The vast majority (or 90 percent) of respondents said their inventory for the 2015 holiday shopping season will be the same or equal to last year with one-third saying they had increased their inventory this year. The percentage of respondents reporting an increase in seasonal inventory this year is up a surprising 22 percent from 2014’s survey which showed eight percent of respondents reporting an increase in seasonal inventory.
Of the independent retailers surveyed across the state, the most popular items consumers will be shopping for this holiday season include mainly electronics; video games, TVs but also some local art and foods and home goods.
For those shoppers unsure of what to give the people on their list this year, it is good to know that 80 percent of respondents reported selling gift cards or gift certificates at their independent retail store.
Kentucky’s independent retailers aren’t entirely sure what kind of an outlook to have for the season though, with 40 percent of respondents saying they expect holiday sales to be equal to last year and the remaining 60 percent of respondents divided evenly for positive and negative outlooks.
“As Kentucky’s economy has been slow to recover, it is interesting to see that while retailers aren’t sure what to expect about sales this holiday shopping season, the majority are willing to increase their inventory this year,” stated Sarah Rowlette, KRF Director of Communications.
Despite the hustle and bustle around Black Friday and what used to be the “kick off” of the holiday shopping season, independent retailers expect to see less than 25 percent of their holiday season sales made during the Thanksgiving weekend.