Abbreviated holiday season could cost stores $1.5 billion

Thanksgiving isn't until Nov. 28 this year, and that leaves fewer days for shopping.

By Benzinga Nov 6, 2013 4:45PM

Image: Gift © Brian Hagiwara, Brand X, CorbisBy Jim Probasco


If you are wondering why more retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day this year, the calendar might have a lot to do with it. Thanksgiving is on Nov. 28, the latest it has been since 2002.


That means six fewer days than last year between Thanksgiving and Christmas and that translates to about $1.5 billion in lost online sales, according to a new survey by Adobe Systems (ADBE) Adobe Digital Index.


Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Index, told The Washington Post that "promotional activity will be bigger, earlier, and more noisy" as a result.


So far that seems to be the case. Retailers like Macy’s (M), J.C. Penney (JCP), and Sears (SHLD) plan to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving as opposed to the more traditional holiday opening of early morning on Black Friday.


Kmart in a “one-up” move announced it would open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open for 41 straight hours until late Friday.


Meanwhile, Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) have already started offering discounts normally available only on Black Friday.


It doesn’t help that recent history includes a less-than-inspiring jobs report, a 16-day government shutdown, and disappointing estimates for national economic growth.


Still, the National Retail Federation said it expects holiday sales to increase almost four percent with online revenue expected to grow by 15 percent this year. The organization said that even though consumers are frustrated, spending has not yet shown a decline.


From a long-term perspective, however, Adobe’s Gaffney suggested that the Black Friday tradition hurts retailers. Gaffney told Bloomberg Businessweek, “Our official start date here called Black Friday, which will eventually be Thanksgiving, is preventing online sales from occurring.”


As proof, Adobe’s research found that in places like the U.K., the Netherlands, and Canada, which do not celebrate Thanksgiving (or follow the tradition of Black Friday), shoppers spend more than Americans do during the holiday season.


Some retailers are catching on. Karen Hoguet, chief financial officer at Macy’s, told investors the company is focused on persuading people to spend throughout November according to Bloomberg Businessweek.


Hoguet added, “There’s some people who are saying the six fewer days is negative, but I keep saying November, December hasn’t changed. You still have the same number of people to buy gifts for.”


At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.


Read more from Benzinga


1Comment
Nov 6, 2013 10:00PM
avatar
I used to like to see a late Thanksgiving on the calendar.  Not too long ago, no one (even retailers) mentioned the word Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.   When turkey day fell late in Nov, there was a mad rush for less than a month to fit everything in.  Now, we start getting bombarded with Christmas stuff the day after Halloween.  It wouldn't surprise me to see them change Thanksgiving to where it can't fall any later than the 25th of November, just to appease the retailers.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

115
115 rated 1
269
269 rated 2
445
445 rated 3
614
614 rated 4
684
684 rated 5
678
678 rated 6
608
608 rated 7
454
454 rated 8
310
310 rated 9
138
138 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
AAPLAPPLE Inc10
ARCPAMERICAN REALTY CAPITAL PROPERTIES Inc10
ATVIACTIVISION BLIZZARD Inc10
BIDUBAIDU Inc10
BMYBRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO.10
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.