Returns of holiday sales can be a huge problem for retailers. Gifts of clothing for loved ones often don’t fit, and so online apparel retailers are turning to technology to help them avoid serious post-holiday overstock situations. Software that helps online shoppers find the right fit, and systems that track orders with warehouses more carefully are becoming more important to retailers trying to avoid mass returns. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Black Friday usually means noisy crowds of shoppers lined up outside of Walmart. This year, noisy crowds assembled outside Walmarts across the U.S for a different reason. Demonstrators protested to demand wages of at least $15 an hour, as many full time workers have to rely on government subsidies to survive. (Aljazeera)
Malls across America experienced a slightly quieter, more civilized Black Friday this year. It isn’t to say that there weren’t impressive crowds, but by opening on Thursday, and with the popularity of online shopping, some of the traditional chaos was slightly abated. (Huffington Post)
This year, many luxury retailers experienced a drop in sales. Burberry, Hugo Boss, and Louis Vuitton are all experiencing a tough year. So who’s doing well? Unsurprisingly, it looks like companies with the highest “cool” factor, such as Uniqlo and Free People, are seeing their sales grow. (Fashionista)
When it comes to independent retailing, uniqueness matters. Many small American retail stores feel the pinch of shrinking budgets and the threat of online giants, but are thriving due to differentiated offerings. Collaborations with local artists, sponsoring fundraisers and private mailings are all ways stores have been winning over loyal shoppers. (The Press Democrat)
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