December 28, 2010
By the ZippyCart Shopping Cart Reviews Content Team
Oh, the weather outside is frightful indeed! This season holiday shopping has become more of a marathon rather than a sprint. Traditionally brick and mortar retailers roll out huge day-after-Christmas sales anticipating people will pack into stores for returns, exchanges and discounts but the past few days, retailers have seen a turn out that is much less than par. The holiday shopping may have lost its momentum due to massive blizzards engulfing the East Coast from New Jersey to Maine, disrupting one of the busiest shopping days after Christmas. Parts of New York and New Jersey received as much as two feet of snow within a 48 hour period. New Jersey may have been hit the worst as it has been called into a state of emergency. The roads are too harsh to navigate, people are stranded, train tracks are iced over, hundreds to thousands of flights have been canceled, and weathers conditions are expected to get worse, which means one thing – shoppers are staying at home.
Since the snow is keeping shoppers at home they will most likely look to the comfort and ease of online retailers. Online retailers have seen a pattern associated to debilitating snowstorms hitting various parts of the world and have take advantage of it by offering their own massive holiday discounts. Amazon and eBay are two of the major ecommerce sites currently offering prices that are somewhat reminiscent to Black Friday deals. Overall, this has been a big year for general online retailers. Within the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 20 total online spending rose 12 percent to over $28.36 billion so far, according to research firm comScore Inc. This year, the U.K. saw record spending for online shopping on Christmas day totaling near £153 million as many turned to the Internet due to snow disruptions. Last year, U.S. online retailers saw a 13 percent increase in sales due to a snowstorm that hit the East Coast a weekend before Christmas, consequently costing retailers $2 billion in sales.
Total sales for the full holiday season are expected to rise 11 percent and reach $32.4 billion this year. However, the longer these winter conditions remain, it becomes more problematic for retailers to reach this expected revenue. Retailers will have to prolong their major discounts and sales in order to make up for the revenue lost during the blizzard and attract shoppers back to their stores after it subsides. Spending may just shift into January, and may take two to three weeks longer for retailers to recover from the storm according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at a research firm NPD Group Inc. but as the New Year approaches, so do the resolutions. Consumers may take a different approach to their spending in the New Year and with that as a major contributing factor, it will be interesting to see how brick and mortar retailers will bounce back from the effects of the snowstorm in the upcoming year.