Cape Town - Post Black Friday sale fatigue and consumers under financial pressure could minimise Christmas spend in 2017, according to Taleo Retail Advisory’s head Sash Padayachee.
Furthermore, the heightened expectation of increased discounting and special offers will result in last minute spend and post-Christmas clearance anticipation, in his view.
Noel Otto, CEO of Power Fashion Factory said that they anticipated December 22 and 23 as their busiest for 2017.
“We have introduced earlier opening times to accommodate those shoppers who rely on public transport to get to our stores. This will be one of our defining points for our December sales,” he said.
Mark Turner, brand and marketing director for Game, said after Black Friday the busiest days are anticipated to be the week building up to Christmas and the weekend before Christmas.
“Customers will take advantage of extended trading hours and online shopping equally. Game has also launched a new and improved website which now allows customers to shop online. We have planned for Festive Season trading to be better this year,” he said.
With international retailers now having an entrenched presence, December 2017 will be a key indicator of retail performance for local brands and will indeed be a report card on the efficacy of strategic and tactical responsiveness to the new competition. Failure to lift their results now will indicate a lacklustre outlook for 2018, according to Padayachee.
"On the one side, I can say that 2017 has been a tough one. We saw closures of stores, the end of an era of a respected brand store and many local retailers on the brink of closures," he said.
"On the other side, 2017 has been the most significant in terms of retail as we have seen an influx of international brands-providing a plethora of choices for consumers. We have also seen the tenacity of local retailers and if they can put up with this economic climate. I can adamantly say that I cannot wait to see what they can offer consumers once the rand toughens up.”
In his view, retailers need to maximise their efforts in order to capitalise on December sales.
“Since the lack of quick response to demand of wanted merchandise is often evident, focus on alternatives is required via instore, staff and digital communication to maximise sales potential. Retailers in fashion should also merchandise all oddments by size to promote ‘easy to find’ as customers often don’t purchase garments simply because they can find the size they want on packed rails," he explained.
"Many retailers are somewhat oblivious to this opportunity to remove pain and get rid of oddments while they have takers instore. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the Festive Season spend and I personally look forward to a stronger rand which will further translate to greener pastures for local retail."
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