4 trends to watch for the 2016 holiday shopping season

NEW YORK — As the 2016 holiday shopping season kicks off, the trends to watch for include some that are a bit wacky.

HOT TOYS: This year’s “it” toy: Hatchimals. When a child strokes the egg, it starts to hatch into a stuffed bird-like creature. The child’s interaction with the pet trains it to play games and repeat words. Made by Spin Master, they run $59.99.

“If you have to pick one toy this year, this is it,” said Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of TTPM.com, an online toy review site. “It’s the whole excitement of the hatching process.”

Other hot toys, he says: playthings related to PJ Masks, an animated preschool television series as well as new toys related to Nickelodeon’s series “Paw Patrol.” For grown-ups, a top item is the Nintendo New Classic, which has been selling out.

The U.S. toy business, which had a strong holiday season last year, is on track for another good one. U.S. toy sales are expected to increase 6.5 percent for 2016, with sales up 6 percent from January through September, according to the market research firm NPD Group Inc.

TACKY CHRISTMAS SWEATERS: There’s not much sizzle in the overall clothing market. But one bright spot is tacky holiday sweaters. The trend — often ironic — has been growing for a while, but some stores think it’s going to resonate with shoppers even more this year after a contentious presidential race.

“Everyone’s looking for some comic relief,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has increased its selection of ugly holiday sweaters, which feature motifs like Santas and holiday trees, and the fad has spread to vests and sweater dresses. J.C. Penney dramatically expanded its assortment too. Last year, its selection was primarily available for teens and it ran out early in the season, says company spokeswoman Daphne Avila. This year, the choices also include socks, ties, and hats for the entire family, Avila says. Target also has plenty of ugly holiday sweaters, but new this year are Santa pajama sets for the family.

LEAN INVENTORIES: Shoppers may not get the kinds of discounts they saw last year. Wal-Mart, Target, and others are heading into the holiday season with leaner inventories than a year ago. That could help prevent them from getting stuck with lots of holiday leftovers to clear. But it could be bad news for consumers.

One area where the pressure to discount is on is clothing. Teen merchant Aeropostale Inc., which has filed for bankruptcy protection, has launched deep sales as it liquidates its store inventory. John Morris, a retail analyst at BMO Capital Markets, says he believes the chain will be closing 300 locations, and that could affect pricing at other mall-based teen retailers like American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie’s Hollister chain.

APP FATIGUE: Stores like Macy’s and Wal-Mart have been improving their apps, and Wal-Mart is making its Black Friday circular available through its app. But some shoppers are getting choosier about which ones they make space for on their smartphones. Gartner research found that 41 percent of consumers polled have the same number of apps as a year ago, but 20 percent have reduced the amount as they prioritize the most useful ones. So that means stores will have to work hard to encourage shoppers to stay with their apps by adding special features and proving themselves indispensable.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like