After a sleepy retail start to the holiday season, many of the big retailers have taken notice that they need to do more to build enthusiasm for shopping during the season. But convincing shoppers to get their purchases in person is no easy task.
The National Retail Federation estimates that only 5 percent of Thanksgiving-week sales will take place in stores. And the group projects that online will take a 31 percent share of total spending this year. In a memo to retailers, the NRF suggested just one way to bolster spending at physical stores: Ads in employee newsletters or circulars. That may be a good strategy for some retailers who have created strong websites and social media pages. But for other chains with fewer than 1,000 employees, it may not be enough.
“It’s definitely going to be a competitive landscape, especially for those who have less to invest,” said Scott Krugman, a spokesman for the NRF. “We just have to be flexible enough in the way we do that.”
Krugman said in October that the early leader in pre-Thanksgiving holiday sales was Amazon, and the mega-retailer is upping the ante this year by allowing buyers to add their own gift cards to the basket before making a purchase. Amazon is also advertising its Alexa speakers. But other chains are not as willing to give the service away.