The holiday shopping season, the time when retailers make a large chunk of their annual revenue, is upon us.
A shorter shopping season this year from Black Friday to Christmas has pushed promotions further up the calendar. And most businesses are in full marketing mode.
With Black Friday so close to December this year, retailers are losing some of the biggest November shopping days to December. So, many are looking to maximize their November spreadsheets with as many sales as they can garner during the turkey-laden month.
Local entrepreneurs Kate and Will Thompson are bucking the trend.
The brother-and-sister duo own the cupcake shop Cupkates and Katie August Shoeware, a women’s shoe, accessories and handbags boutique. They’re heavily focused on Small Business Saturday, a day when they’re expecting a large chunk of their holiday sales to happen. And it just happens to be the day after Black Friday.
“Small business is huge for us,” Kate said.
Cupkates makes most of its money between Halloween to Valentine’s Day.
J.Glenn in Boca Park is owned by Jonathan Nichols and Alan Shaw, a couple who moved their Lake Tahoe business to Las Vegas. Their gifting and home boutique has been open more than a year.
By Halloween, the store had its holiday product out on the showroom floor in an effort to compete with the big-box stores, Nichols said. He also orders limited edition items to help make J. Glenn stand out.
“This year I have to completely set myself apart,” Nichols said. “You have to make yourself unique and different.”
The store also focuses heavily on customer service to lure shoppers and keep them coming back for more.
“A lot of people are starting their shopping early because they feel like they have less time this year,” Nichols said.
Gifts, in particular, are selling, with items under $50 specifically doing well. Décor sales hadn’t kicked in as of mid-November.
The National Retail Federation’s holiday consumer spending survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, showed the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, décor and greeting cards, 1.9 percent less than the $752.24 they spent last year.
The federation is forecasting holiday sales will increase 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion.
Katie August has been open only a few months, but Kate has noticed an overarching trend. The shop is inside Market LV at Tivoli Village, a location that attracts women from many walks of life. She said that no matter what socioeconomic class the women are in, it seems everyone is looking for a deal these days.
“We’ve really found by testing our products, keeping our price point affordable is key for us,” Kate said.
The store’s golden price point for shoes is $58.95, and the most popular bag retails for $88.95.
A national consumer poll of 1,000 households commissioned by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs, showed bargain-priced holiday gift buying is the chief motivation to shop on Black Friday, but 27 percent of consumers who plan to shop that day are looking primarily for bargains, not holiday gifts.
The survey also found 13 percent of U.S. consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving and 46 percent will make purchases on Black Friday. The following weekend is likely to be busy, too, with 34 percent of consumers spending. Online shoppers will take advantage of Cyber Monday, with 42 percent of consumers planning to hop on their computers.
The younger the consumer, the likelier that person is to shop during the Thanksgiving period: 73 percent of Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980, and 84 percent of generation Y, born between 1981 and 1993, are likely to shop.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at email@example.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.