All posts by Tara McAdams

JDA.ICON 2020

LOCATION: Denver, Colorado
DATE: May 4-7, 2020

Planalytics will be sponsoring and exhibiting at JDA.ICON 2020. If you would like more information about Planalytics, or to schedule a time to meet at the conference, please contact David Frieberg at dfrieberg@planalytics.com.

View more event information HERE.

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Holiday at Retail: Peaks, Valleys and Prolonged Promoting

WWD

By: David Moin with contributions from Sharon Edelson, Ellen Thomas


Mass discounters and off pricers have performed best in a holiday season that continues at least until New Year’s. . . 

. . . “The weather certainly was supportive of the store traffic and the items that consumers were putting in their baskets,” said Evan Gold, executive vice president of global partnerships and alliances at Planalytics, a weather intelligence service for businesses.

In particular, the weather benefited some big shopping days. According to Planalytics, the week that ended on Super Saturday was the coldest since 2016 and the driest since 2011, increasing the demand for winter jackets, gloves and sweaters.

For this week ending Dec. 28, it will be mostly dry for large portions of the U.S. “Weather is supportive of store traffic during the final days leading up to Christmas. For many, the temperatures are warmer in comparison to last year,” Gold reported.

Next week, ending Jan. 4, is forecast to be colder than last year in the Northeast but warmer in the West, and wet conditions return from the Southwest to the Northeast leading up to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, which will include rain for many and snow for some, “which can shift post-Christmas purchasing from in-store to online,” Gold said. It could also discourage going out to stores. . . .

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Super Saturday Forecast To Be Holiday 2019’s Busiest Day

California Apparel News

By: Andrew Asch


Super Saturday is Dec. 21, and predictions for one of the final shopping days before Christmas are positive. It’s forecasted to be the busiest shopping day of the holiday season, according to a number of holiday business watchers such as the National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group.

The NRF forecasted that 148 million U.S. shoppers plan to shop on Super Saturday. It’s an increase from 134.3 million who shopped on Super Saturday in 2018, said Matthew Shay, the NRF’s president and chief executive officer. The forecast was released Dec. 17 based on data from a survey that the NRF conducted with Prosper Insights & Analytics. . . .

. . . Planalytics Inc., a company with offices in Berwyn, Pa., and in London, advises businesses on how to plan their strategies around weather. While there have been no extreme weather events during the season, the company noted that temperatures had generally been colder and wetter around the country during November. But during the first half of December, temperatures became slightly warmer across much of the country. The days leading into Super Saturday should be a bit cooler before a relatively warmer trend in the days leading up to Christmas. Temperatures will then cool during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day compared to the same time the previous year, said David Frieberg, a Planalytics spokesperson. “It’s a bit of a see-saw situation,” he said.

Weather has been cold for consumers who live in the Midwest or along the Eastern seaboard. In early December, an arctic cold front covered much of the upper Midwest and Northern Plains, and the cold air made its way into the mid-Atlantic region, even Miami, Fla., where temperatures hit a high in the 60s.

Generally, cold weather has helped retailers sell winter clothes. For the first weeks of December, Planalytics forecasted that colder weather would generate a 3 percent increase in demand for sweaters in Denver and a 7 percent increase in demand for thermals in Cleveland and a 3 percent increase in demand for fleece in Miami. On Black Friday Weekend, Los Angeles weather was the coldest it had been in more than 20 years. Planalytics said that demand for jackets increased 5 percent in Los Angeles during that weekend. . . .

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CAGNY Conference 2020

LOCATION: Boca Raton, FL
DATE: February 17-21, 2020

Planalytics will be attending the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference 2020. If you would like more information about Planalytics, or to schedule a time to meet at the conference, please contact David Frieberg at dfrieberg@planalytics.com.

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Black Friday Weekend Sales Breaks Records

California Apparel News

By: Andrew Asch


Black Friday shopping broke records, according to the National Retail Federation. In a Dec. 3 conference call, the Washington, D.C., retail trade group said that 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped during the Black Friday Weekend. That reflected a 14 percent increase in consumers shopping compared to the 2018 Black Friday Weekend. During that weekend, 165.8 million Americans shopped, according to Matthew Shay, the NRF’s president and chief executive officer. . . .

. . . Fashion and apparel categories and department stores were two of the winners during Black Friday. Cold, wet weather across much of America sparked a demand for winter clothing. In Los Angeles, the weekend’s weather was the coldest in more than 20 years, and demand for jackets in the city increased 5 percent during the weekend in a year-over-year comparison, according to Planalytics, Inc., which measures how weather affects business and has offices in Berwyn, Pa., and London.

The survey of Black Friday shoppers found that 58 percent of shoppers looked for apparel during the five-day weekend. It also found that 50 percent of shoppers visited department stores during the weekend, and 36 percent of those surveyed reported shopping at clothing stores. . . .

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Retail Relief: Black Friday Stretch Sparks Cheer

WWD

BY: David Moin with contributions from Allison Collins, Jean E. Palmieri, Sharon Edelson, Arthur Zaczkiewicz and Kali Hays


Holiday selling is proceeding according to script, with consumers shopping online and in stores Thursday through Saturday at levels that supported widespread forecasts for seasonal sales gains averaging in the 4 percent range.

For now at least, the industry mood remains upbeat and the economy strong, although there are concerns about the shorter calendar — six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year — and intensified promoting impacting fourth-quarter margins. Also, the robust growth in online sales continues to come at the expense of brick-and mortar retail businesses. . . .

. . . However, there are still 23 days left until Christmas and anything can happen, and over the weekend, some urgency crept in. Retailers and brands unleashed ads notifying consumers that time was running out on extended Black Friday deals, then shifted the narrative to promoting early Cyber Monday discounts. That happened just as a big storm pushed east, bringing snow, sleet, winds and rain to metro areas. Precipitation was notable in the Southwest with Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix recording their most Black Friday weekend rainfall in more than 20 years, according to Planalytics, a firm forecasting the weather and helping retailers to plan accordingly.

The weather did suppress some brick and-mortar traffic, though snowfall was heaviest in higher elevations and smaller markets throughout the Rockies and Plains. Out west, colder weather lifted demand for jackets, gloves, hats and hot drinks as well as need-based categories such as snow shovels, boots, and wiper blades, Planalytics said.

Though disrupting shopping as well as traveling, the timing of the storm was in one respect fortunate, hitting the Northeast on Sunday, which is when many consumers break from visiting malls to instead eat turkey leftovers, watch football and mine early Cyber Monday deals online.

Retail experts see possible fourth-quarter margin pressures based on the fewer shopping days and some intensified and prolonged Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Site-wide promotions offering 25 or 30 percent off entire assortments also seemed more apparent. . . .

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Meal deal or no deal?

The Grocer

By: Ash O’Mahony


Don’t mess with the meal deal formula. That’s the unwritten rule of food to go. Sainsbury’s serves as a cautionary tale for anyone who dares to think otherwise. The backlash from its revamped meal deal in 2016 – which saw its much-loved Taste the Difference sandwiches removed from the £3 bundle – has achieved near-legendary status. . . .

. . . Weather analytics platform Planalytics says that effect is just as evident outside of the summer months. “This year the UK recorded its second-warmest February on record, with long spells of dry weather,” says VP of marketing David Frieberg. “That increased food to-go footfall, as people were drawn out of homes and workplaces for a taste of spring .”

Conversely, the wet weather in October put a dampener on sales . “Although the month started on the warm side, by the end it was the coolest October since 2012 and wettest since 2013,” Frieberg says. “Footfall levels in stores fell by mid-month as the temperatures dropped and rainfall increased.” That weather drove wrap sales down 10%, salads down 5% and sandwiches down 3%.

So perhaps hot food is just what’s needed to heat up the food-to-go market. So long as it doesn’t mess with the sacred territory of the lunchtime meal deal.

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Tracking Black Friday: Retail Out of the Gate OK

WWD

BY: David Moin


Early indications suggest holiday shopping on track, but anything is possible with 25 days left.

And they’re off.
Retailers had a good start to holiday 2019 shopping, lifted by mostly favorable weather conditions, accelerating online and mobile shopping, and widespread early but controlled promotions often offering 25 to 50 percent off. Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and other retailers have been seeing momentum since late in the third quarter after sluggish business through most of the period. . . .

. . . According to Planalytics, which helps retailers in their planning based on weather patterns and forecasts, many markets in the western U.S. will be 5 to 20 degrees colder this weekend compared to last year, after just experiencing a cold and snowy Thanksgiving. That has driven sales of winter apparel and accessories and snow removal items and shifted more purchasing online.

Los Angeles had its coldest Thanksgiving in over 50 years and its wettest since 1983 and is tracking to have its coldest Black Friday weekend since 2010, Planalytics said. San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and San Diego all had their coldest Thanksgivings since 2010. There was heavy snowfall from Denver to Minneapolis, though much of it hit smaller markets such as Montana where retailers have less exposure. In the east, it’s been a dry week, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, supporting traffic in stores and malls. However, it’s not nearly as cold as last year, with New York and Boston experiencing their warmest Thanksgivings since 2015 and Baltimore, its warmest since 2007.

Luckily for East Coast retailers, wet weather isn’t expected until Sunday, which is always the slowest shopping day of Black Friday period as Americans recover from shopping in the days before and stay home. For the Thursday to Sunday period, markets in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region are trending 5 to 15 degrees warmer than a year ago. Based on the weather, Planalytics forecast that sweater sales this week would be up 6 percent in San Francisco and 9 percent in Phoenix, but down 3 percent in Miami. Winter boots would be up 48 percent in Denver and 5 percent in Minneapolis but down 10 percent in Baltimore. Thermals would be up 16 percent in L.A. but down 10 percent in New York.

“It’s very much a regional story and a total flip from last year,” Evan Gold, executive vice president of Planalytics, told WWD on Friday. He sees traffic in Eastern stores and malls good from Thanksgiving through Saturday, though sales of sweaters, boots and thermals will ultimately be down, as retailers find it hard to meet comps from last year. “Black Friday weeklong sales are growing steadily and have for many years,” pulling business out of early December, observed Johnson, of Customer Growth Partners. Over Black Friday itself, sales as a percent of November to December total retail sales (excluding autos, gas and restaurants) have risen to 9.5 percent this year, from 7.5 percent in 2000.

He sees Black Friday’s share of total sales “plateauing” due to many stores that opened on the afternoon of Thanksgiving reverting to closing them for the holiday. . . .

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Brace yourselves shoppers, this Saturday‘s $26 billion shopping frenzy will top Black Friday

STOCK DAILY DISH

By: SDD Contributor


All the stars are aligned to make this last weekend before Christmas a bigger shopping event than in past years.

The final Saturday before Christmas, known in the retail industry as Super Saturday, falls three days before the big day this year, giving shoppers a little more time to use a weekend for last-minute purchases. In 2017, Christmas fell on a Monday, which means by last year‘s Super Saturday, families were already starting to gather, and picking up gifts was nearly complete, if not entirely done.

This year‘s Super Saturday is expected to be the second-busiest for traffic in stores this holiday season, trailing only Black Friday. . . .

. . . The weather across the country is another factor that could determine how many shoppers turn up to stores this weekend. According to Planalytics, a firm that analyzes weather and sales data, Super Saturday is looking to be clear and dry for most of the United States, with Maine and Colorado being two exceptions.

Planalytics said temperatures across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic will be warmer this weekend than a year ago, meaning shoppers in those regions will likely be more focused on buying non-apparel items versus winter coats. In the Southeast, where temperatures are expected to be cooler, the firm said coat sales will likely be higher.

Because of the expected mild and dry conditions, Planalytics said department stores, discount chains and dollar stores are likely to see a bump of $83 million in sales this Super Saturday. . . .

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