Survey forecasts early holiday shopping and uptick in 2014 store openings
North Plainfield, N.J. — Forty-three percent of respondents to Levin Management’s annual pre-holiday retail sentiment survey believe that their holiday sales will peak prior to and during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend sales period. In other notable results, 43.6% of respondents’ companies plan to open new stores in 2014 – a significant jump from 23% in last year’s pre-holiday poll and 35.9% the previous year.
“The percentage of respondents with expansion plans is very good news,” said Matthew K. Harding, president, Levin Management.
During October, the North Plainfield-based retail real estate services firm polled store managers within its 90-property, 12.5 million-sq.-ft. shopping center portfolio on this and other topics related to the upcoming holiday season, e-commerce, year-to-date sales and more.
“It appears that last year’s Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend performance has retailers bullish about this year’s early shopping potential,” said Harding. “Interestingly, the percentage of respondents who believe that sales will peak later – during the weekend before Christmas – dropped significantly year over year, from 29.2% In our 2012 pre-holiday survey to 13.5% in our latest poll.”
Other findings of the survey include:
- More than three-quarters (77.5%) of respondents overall indicated that they will be bringing in as much as or more inventory than last year. In the 2012 pre-holiday survey, a smaller 68.0% planned to increase their holiday season stock compared to 2011. A larger 85.7% of respondents in the clothing/shoes/accessories segment – a traditional holiday shopping category – indicated that they will be bringing in as much as or more inventory than last season.
- Retailers’ embrace of social media for technology-based marketing continues to gain ground. Nearly all (97.8%) of the Levin Management survey respondents have a presence on Facebook (up from 81.5% last year). Twitter remains the second most popular, used by 48.9% of respondents (up from 26.2% one year ago).
“While Facebook and Twitter continue to dominate the social media space, Instagram may be the next big social platform for retail marketing, according to Harding.
“The number of survey respondents using the popular photo- and video-sharing site jumped from just over 3.1% last year to an impressive 26.1% today,” he said.
Levin Management is one of the nation’s leading retail real estate services firms, with a strong focus in the northeastern United States.
Expansion-minded rue21 opens its 1,000th store
Warrendale, Pa. — Rue21 on Thursday celebrated the opening of its 1,000th store. Located in the Enid Crossing Shopping Center in Enid, Okla., the location is one of the company’s new rueGuy format stores and features an expanded assortment of young men’s apparel and accessories in addition to the girls’ apparel, jewelry, footwear and beauty product.
“This was a pivotal year for our Company: we launched our online website, introduced our new rueGuy store format, and transitioned from a publicly held to a privately owned company. We are looking forward to continuing our store expansion strategy and developing our brand as we grow past the one-thousand-store mark," stated Bob Fisch, rue21’s president and CEO.
Rue21 has opened over 100 stores each year since going public in 2009. The retailer anticipates growing to more than 1,700 stores in the continental United States
"Our real estate model gives us the opportunity to open successfully in strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers in small or midsized communities where there are few teen specialty apparel retailers," said Bob Thomson, senior VP of real estate for rue21.
99 Cents Only opens two California stores Nov. 21
City of Commerce, Calif. – 99 Cents Only Stores opens two new stores in California on Nov. 21. The stores will be located in the towns of Menifee and Corona.
The Menifee store will measure 18,000 sq. ft., while the Corona store will measure 19,400 sq. ft. 99 Cents Only Stores currently operates 335 extreme value retail stores consisting of 241 stores in California, 44 in Texas, 33 in Arizona, and 17 in Nevada.