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Apparel Promotional Battles Is Predicted by BMO in Holiday Season

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Core prompt: With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, analysts say the outlook for the busiest shopping days of the year will be challenging for most retailers

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, analysts say the outlook for the busiest shopping days of the year will be challenging for most retailers facing aggressive competition and still-cautious shoppers. John D. Morris, Retail Apparel Analyst at BMO Capital Markets provides information about what to expect this holiday shopping season:

“The retail apparel holiday shopping season is always promotional - but this year the flood gates are open and we anticipate a promotional battlefield.

“Weak back-to-school shopping numbers followed by a government shutdown and now cracks in ObamaCare have led to soft mall traffic thus far and high inventories as we head into the holiday season. Our studies indicate a wallet-share shift from apparel to bigger-ticket, non-apparel purchases.

“The fashion consensus last year centered on a kaleidoscope of color - this comes along once in a decade. This year, we are back to the norm of scattered fashion consensus; shoppers are finding fewer reasons to buy this year versus last, according to our preliminary focus-group research.

“A record short number of days in the 2013 holiday shopping season (26 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the fewest possible days), versus a record long season in 2012 (32 day shopping period last year as Thanksgiving fell on Nov. 22).”

 
 
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