Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone out there. I do enjoy this season, especially having a family now. My son might not have a fat college fund yet, but he'll be benefiting this morning from his daddy's owning a toy store. Thomas Wooden Railway stuff makes up a lot of what's under the tree (it barely budged this season), along with a couple cool Melissa & Doug items, like a latch board and play food.
We had a phenomenal holiday season at the store, with most of our customer base finding us again at the new location. Sales of board games represented general public sales, and those were flat last time I checked, which tells me we probably lost some annual shoppers in the move.
Below are the latest retail articles that say a huge surge over the weekend before Christmas saved the day. It certainly worked well for us, with Friday being our best day ever and Saturday being our second best day, missing Friday by a couple hundred dollars. Christmas Eve was insanely busy too, something I haven't experienced before.
A couple trends: First, major retailers gave big discounts the weekend before Christmas, which may have boosted their sales, but will hurt their bottom line (like me with Thomas at 40% off). They'll report that news in January and my guess is it will be mixed. If you're only up a few percentage points and your discounting, you're not as healthy as you think.
Second, come January they'll also be reporting their gift card purchases. We had stratospheric gift card purchases this year, and the national trend is that it's increasing. This might offset their lower profit numbers due to the early sales. Sales numbers lie, it's the money in the bank that's important.
U.S. shoppers hit stores over Super Saturday weekend
The Super Saturday sales numbers indicated ShopperTrak's forecast of a 3.6 percent gain in holiday sales is "right in line," Martin said.
Late surge may keep retailers out of red
Those dour predictions that Santa Claus would detour from providing his annual goodies to the nation's retailers seem to have been off track.
Last-Minute Buyers Give Retailers Relief
"...the nation's retailers got their wish — a last-minute surge of shopping that helped meet their modest sales goals, according to data released late Monday by research firm ShopperTrak RCT Corp.... Toy sales are expected, at best, to match business from a year ago."