Holiday 2004 Retail Strategies: How Christmas Shopping Trends Will Shape the 2004 Season

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Published Mar 1, 2004 | 75 Pages | Pub ID: LA952795

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The importance of Christmas sales to retailers and manufacturers is no secret -- for some retailers, holiday sales can contribute as much as 40% of their profits. But what is more of a mystery are the factors that contribute to “winning” or “losing” in this $226 billion sweepstakes. As the Christmas 2004 planning and buying activity swings into full gear, knowing what works - and fails - with the consumer will be critical to ensuring a merry holiday sales season.

Holiday 2004 Retail Strategies uncovers new trends in Christmas retailing that have emerged from 2002 and 2003 and outlines the environment, winning strategies and tactics, customer understanding and planning skills needed to succeed in 2004 and beyond. This study is a new and essential tool for any retailer, wholesaler, service or product provider committed to achieving holiday success - particularly as the planning for the next season begins in earnest. It also is directed to those who would benefit by an intensive and thorough analysis of the Christmas market and its future.

Introducing Market Trends
Market Trends is the latest product line from Packaged Facts. These timely, compact reports offer insight and analysis into new product trends, demographic shifts, and consumer behaviors that affect the food, beverage and consumer goods industries.

Report Methodology
The information in Holiday 2004 Retail Strategies is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved interviews with marketing, public relations and industry analysts within the retail and financial arenas and consultants to the industry. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including company literature.

About the Author
Annette McEvoy is an independent specialty retail sector expert with senior management experience in the retail, consumer products, and advertising industries. McEvoy has held management positions in major consumer marketing companies including Limitedbrands, L’Oreal, Bristol-Myers and McCann Erickson Worldwide. Most recently, McEvoy developed a predictive model of 2003 retail winners and losers at the all-important Holiday time period with a leading Wall Street institutional investment company and what it meant for specialty retail stocks. McEvoy received her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Business and BA with Honors from Stanford University.

What You’ll Get in this Report
Holiday 2004 Retail Strategies is broken down into five parts:

  • Part one examines the influencing factors surrounding Christmas performance, distinguishing between self and gift purchases and identifying “hidden” gifting competitors that retailers and others would benefit by including in their competitive set.
  • Part two brings Holiday 2002 and 2003 results into focus at the channel of distribution and individual company level. All major channels of retail distribution from high end department stores through mall specialists, mass merchandisers, discounters and the Internet are covered. Major product sectors are also examined. Commonalities among winning and losing channels of distribution, product categories and companies are uncovered and critical common success and failure factors drawn. The season’s rare turn-around performances are examined. Distinguishing features of the season are then summarized and go-forward trends vs. short term anomalies noted.
  • Part three is devoted to gaining better understanding of the Christmas customer. Customers’ gifting and self-purchase attitudes and behaviors at Christmas are analyzed and put into a context that retailers can act upon. Customer spending and gifting style segments, actual shopping process and opportunities to better meet needs in the future are provided.
  • Part four turns to the internal planning process suggested for retailers and wholesalers to insure Holiday success. It also provides the financial analysis community with a checklist of critical questions when analyzing company Holiday plans. Emerging Christmas retail concepts are also identified which is of special interest to the investment banking industry and within retail managements.
  • Part five, “Christmas Foretold” issues the major market, customer and planning trends predictions for 2004 and beyond.

How You Will Benefit from this Report
If your company wants to get a head’s up on the trends that will be driving holiday shopping trends in 2004, you will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the factors that influence the development of this market.

  • Understanding Holiday Retail Sales Statistics
  • Total and same store sales measurements
    • Category of products/services
    • Channels of distribution
    • Time period
    • Self & gift purchasing
    • Sources of data

  • General Holiday Retail Sales Trends
  • Gifting Category Sales Trends
  • The Holiday Gift Pie
  • Average Household Expenditures
  • Importance of Holiday to Variety of Retailers
  • Importance of Number of Shopping Days
  • Key Shopping Days
  • Importance of Weather
  • Summary Implications

PART II: HOLIDAY 2002 & 2003 RESULTS, COMPARISONS, LEARNINGS & TRENDS.17 2002 Overall Results & Root Causes

  • Two Bright Lights
  • Channels of Distribution
  • Winning & Losing Companies & Commonalities
  • Turn-arounds
  • Distinguishing Features of the Season
  • 2003 Overall Results & Root Causes
  • 2003 Root Causes
  • Four Bright Lights
  • Channels of Distribution
  • Winning & Losing Companies & Commonalities
  • Turn-arounds
  • Distinguishing Features of the Season …
  • 2002/2003 Summary Comparisons
  • 2002/2003 Learnings
  • 2002/2003 Trends


  • Christmas Activities
  • Customer Spending Segments
  • Customer Gifting Mentalities & Segments
  • Customer Shopping Process
  • Customer Needs & Desires
  • Customer Opportunities
  • Summary Implications


  • Recommended internal planning process for retailers, wholesalers, advertisers
  • Recommended financial analysis


  • Market Trends
  • Customer Trends
  • Planning Trend-setting