Christmas in retail

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After a week spent listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas album—I’m obviously not the only one—and stuffing my face with mince pies (on this I seem to be alone) I have self-induced festive fatigue. And there are still 17 days to go!

However, that didn’t stop us from covering Christmas at Retailbiz HQ. I particularly enjoyed researching this story about retailers from the Gold Coast to Paris using augmented reality to bring their Christmas displays to life.

We also have another round of spending stats, which according to the National Retail Association (NRA) show the retail industry is on track for record sales.

“The NRA has projected consumers to spend over $1 billion a day during the Christmas trade period, which encompasses the final two weeks of November and all of December,” said NRA chief executive, Dominique Lamb. “The October figures show that the industry is well and truly on track to smash the record spend.”

Here are a few other things I’ve been interested in this week:

I’m talking to… Dean Salakas, co-owner of retail chain The Party People, about retailers being unprepared for retirement. Dean runs the business with his brother and they have a really interesting story that includes a plan to grow from two stores to 60 nationwide and a mum who was a clown. Sadly we don’t manage to touch on Dean’s childhood in this chat, but I did discover some alarming stats about retail owners who consider selling the business as their main retirement plan.

I’m reading… this piece in Advertising Age about what Amazon Go—the tech giant’s new grocery store concept with no check-outs—means for the future of retail. I think we’re all a bit obsessed with the Amazon question at the moment as we wait for its imminent Australian expansion.

On that note, our contributor this week is Vishal Kawatra who argues that video is one way small and medium retailers can compete with Amazon.

With studies showing that around 73 per cent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after watching an explanatory video (whether that’s a review or an unboxing), Vishal writes that “now more than ever we need to be providing a guided internet journey that supports the interest of the consumer and provides relevant contextual information and content.”

I’m thinking about… everyone working in retail during the festive season! If my local shopping centre last weekend is any indication, you’re in for a crazy few weeks. Stay strong.


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