Cautious Retailers Don’t Get Burned

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While 2008’s holiday buying was a vicious sting for many retailers (read: overstocked store shelves with far more supply than demand), the buyers of American retail circa 2009 have evidently learned their lessons. We saw many stores tightening their inventory belts while others held off on any sales until after the holidays to generate more revenue and keep themselves afloat.

Angelina Rennell, owner of Beklina (and the designer behind the label Lina Rennell), says buying practices for her eco-boutique were of a much more cautious nature this holiday season.

“I ordered in lower numbers, and was maybe just a little more sober when it came to ordering,” Rennell says, adding that favoring “tried and true” designers that she knows sell well was also a big consideration this year versus taking risks with designers she wasn’t so sure of.

As for the discount-loving consumer, according to CNN, “in a surprising trend,” larger department stores like Macy’s and JC Penney beat out discounters as the destination of choice over 2009’s Black Friday weekend.

“Nearly half, 49.4%, of holiday shoppers visited at least one department store over the weekend, a 12.9% increase from last year,” reports the article.

Perhaps this is a sign of consumption with more thought?

Only gift cards, usually an impersonal holiday gift,  turned out to be one of the hottest gifts going, allowing for extra sales post-holiday.

But while retailers usually see customers spending well over what the gift cards are worth, post holiday spending has been reigned in, a trend shop owners are cringing at.

Image: Scalleja

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.